The question in the title was the subject on the radio this morning. It was a loaded question and the “usual suspects” called in. Overall, the response was the same—cut spending! Just where would those cuts occur? Ah, that’s is the question.
There were the usual idiots claiming that we need a national consumption tax and that “will eliminate the IRS.” Well, that’s a subject for another post. Just let me say, eliminating the IRS ain’t gonna happen. As for the national consumption tax? That’s about the worse thing that could happen aside from raising taxes. Usually these idiots just parrot what they’ve heard from others and have never stopped to think just what would happen with a national consumption tax. Hint: Unintended Consequences.
Others want to eliminate entitlements. Now, that is something we can look into but repealing Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security can’t be done by fiat. Much we dislike these entitlements there are many who, in one form or another, depend on these entitlements for their lives.
But there is room here for us to work. As for the “Medis”, Medicare and Medicaid, those can be privatized or turned back to the states. Many states, Missouri for example, has a good track record working with Medicaid. Medicare? That can be privatized, but not overnight. There has to be a transition to allow private insurance carriers to take over this function. There are some obstacles that must be removed to allow for privatization and do so that allows the providers a profit.
Those who currently have Social Security must have some alternative. It’s too late for them to save enough or choose alternate means for retirement income. True, they’ve been sold a ponzi scheme. However, that scheme was perpetrated by the federal government and it’s the responsibility of that government (and us unfortunately) to support that agreement for those who are dependent on Social Security and Medicare. However that does not mean that we can’t phase Social Security out. True, it will take decades but it can be done.
For instance, let me throw this out. Those who’ve paid into Social Security and are over the age of fifty, have the choice to remain in the system or to withdraw and shift their contributions into a private plan, perhaps something like 401Ks. Next, there would be no Social Security if you’ve never paid into the system or if you are an illegal alien. Those under the age of fifty would have their funds transferred into a private plan. A surcharge on the growth of those private plans would help fund Social Security for those remaining in the system. The feds would have to pick up the rest, but that funding would drop year-over-year as those in the system died.
Harsh? Perhaps, but it would support those already in Social Security and would also allow that ponzi scheme to fad away while providing retirement funds for those who’ve yet to retire. Eventually those entitlements would fade away.
Where else can we cut? Well, for one thing, let’s make it absolutely ILLEGAL for the federal government to EVER bailout another company. Business, like societies, must live by Darwin’s rules. Darwin is the ultimate leveler and his rules apply to business, governments, societies and cultures just as it applies to species. Someone said, “The business of America is business.” I don’t remember who said that but it is a truism. The business of government IS NOT business but eliminating those obstacles that interfere with business. For most of this country’s existence, that interference has been government.
We must return Congress to the limits imposed on it in Section 1, Article 8 of the constitution known as the “enumerated” powers of Congress. Every piece of legislation, going forward, must cite where in the Constitution, Congress has the power to do what is proposed in that piece of legislation.
If there is ever a need to modify the constitution, it is to reword or remove the so-called “elastic” clause. John Marshall, as one of his first SCOTUS decisions, modified the intent of that clause negating the intent of the authors of the constitution. That clause was supposed to be limited in scope. May John Marshall’s name be ever held in infamy. John Marshall alone did more damage to to US constitution until the democrat controlled congress in 2006 and 2008.
Congress has assumed too much power. The balance between the states and the central government has been badly damaged—almost destroyed. This nation grew and prospered for over 100 years with a balance of powers. Teddy Roosevelt was the first to tilt that balance towards the federal government with his prolific use of Executive Orders. William Howard Taft, a Roosevelt protege, pushed that balance further with the passage of the 16th Amendment and Woodrow Wilson with the passage of the17th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Now that the ‘Pubs have regained control of the House, how much can they do to put us back on the path envisioned by the founders? I expect it will be less than we want. But, perhaps, they can start the snowball that will grow and gain strength.
We’ll wait and see. If they don’t, 2012 is only two years away and the Tea Party just may become a major player and the Republican party goes the way of the Whigs.