Archive for the ‘Fiscal Responsibility’ Category


Source: Fix The Debt

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

“The Fix the Debt Campaign is bringing together Americans from all walks of life and from across the country to get the national debt under control. Learn more and join us.”

What Fix The Debt really only offers here are goals that they would like to see accomplished in the next Federal budget that Congress passes and the President signs. Which may happen as soon as 2050 since Congress no longer passes budgets The the last budget that Congress passed was in 2006. What they do instead is pass some appropriations bills and generally its real just the House that passes any appropriations bills. And September comes along which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone since September is an annual event in America and Congress realizes that the Federal Government funding is about to run out and decides to pass a short-term spending bill keeping the entire government running until the end of the year generally.

It use to be better than this when Congress would pass an omnibus bill generally in December that would fund the entire government until the following September. Omnibus bills are one appropriation bill passed by Congress instead of all 13 bills and passed instead of a budget. They’re not as good as a budget that comes with appropriations bills later on, but are certainly better than running a Federal Government with a four-trillion-dollar budget and without around five-million employees three or four months at a time. Better for the workers and better for the economy, because investors don’t have to worry about government shutdowns as much and the negative impact they have on the economy.

The only real solution that Fix The Debt offers here and I doubt the author of this article is actually named Fix The Debt, I mean that is no name for a real human being, but no name for the author is given here, but all they talk about is Congress should pass a budget. Pass a budget that puts us on path to reducing the national deb. And then they offer only one real solution in their article which is called PAYGO. Which is a wonky eggheaded term that in American English means pay as you go.

Makes sense right, is you’re going to purchase something pay for it instead of running up big credit card bills that you can’t pay back or writing checks that bounce like fully pumped basketballs that are slammed on a highway. But Congress doesn’t operate in the real world. They operate in the world of political bases and political contributions. And tend to see their number one job is to get reelected. Especially if they’re in the leadership of the major party in the House and Senate and don’t want to lose their majority during the next election. Or if they’re in the leadership in the minority party they tend to see their number one job is to not only get reelected but add to their membership and win back the House or Senate.

So as long as Congress functions on short-term spending bills and the only real deadline they care about are their primary elections and election days, we’ll never see any real solutions to addressing the big deficit of six-hundred-billion dollars and the national debt of twenty-trillion-dollars. Because addressing these issues will cost political capital and support. Because it will mean addressing entitlements, the defense budget, the tax code, emergency spending like disaster relief, and our public assistance anti-poverty programs so we have fewer Americans living and working in poverty and more Americans working and paying payroll and Federal income taxes.

But if you’re looking for real solutions that might happen at some point in the future, or more realistically could happen in the short-term, I believe PAYGO and disaster relief reform might be the only things that could pass both the House and Senate and get signed by President Trump. Applying PAYGO to disaster relief and the defense budget. No more waiting until the hurricane season in the late summer to realize that we may need a lot of money to pay for that cleanup and help people be able to get back to their lives. With Congress passing a disaster relief package of somewhere around 50-100 billion dollars that of course is put on the national credit card. (Another way of saying national debt)

But instead showing some common sense (almost as rare as July snow in Los Angeles, in Congress) and knowing that August and September are annual events in America and are hurricane season in the Southeast, as well as the Southwest in Texas with all the heat and humidity and that this is a region that will probably get hit by at least one storm and that it could be a major storm and that this region is probably going to need a lost of assistance to handle any recovery that might be needed. And again, to go back to the need for the Federal budget that the Administration and Congress should plan for these events upfront and pay for them upfront.

We need a natural disaster fund in America that should be paid for by the people who receive that assistance when their property is hit by one of these major storms and need financial assistance in order to recover from it. People who live in higher risk areas should pay more for this insurance because they’ll get more assistance when they are hit by a storm or some other natural disaster. This would save the Federal Government 20, 50, perhaps even 100 billion dollars or more each year, as well as taxpayers because the Feds would no longer have to borrow to pay for disaster relief and taxpayers would have less interest to pay back on the national debt when they make purchases.

A fully functioning PAYGO that is tied to the entire Federal budget whether its disaster relief, as well as the defense budget and increases to all parts of the Federal budget including invasions, humanitarian relief efforts that are Defense Department are involved in, repairing and building new bases, alone won’t fix the deficit and the national debt. We really need a comprehensive approach here that deals with the tax code, entitlements, poverty assistance, as well as defense and disaster relief. But it would be a good step forward and tell the markets and Wall Street that the U.S. Government is finally serious about the national debt and sees it as a national priority and at the very least will stop asking to the problem that it created.


Source: Crash Course 

Crash Course: Adrienne Hill & Jacob Clifford- Deficits a& Debt


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Bad Government

Bad Government

FRS Daily Times on Facebook

3 Ways to End the Government Shutdown | The Fiscal Times.

Maybe three ways to end the government shutdown is not the best title for this blog. But hey I got it from The Fiscal Times so what do you want but these are the things I believe President Obama and Speaker Boehner in agreement with Leader Reid. Should do to end the government shutdown.

Short-term pass the Senate passed government clean funding bill in the House of Representatives that uses House Republican numbers not Senate Democratic. Big concession on Democrats part including President Obama who wanted roughly another two-hundred-billion-dollars more in spending. Make this extension go through lets say January 2nd 2014 which would give Democratic and House negotiators roughly nine weeks to figure out the budget for 2014. That would fund the government until October 2014. After this is passed the House and Senate agree to a Congressional budget conference chaired by. Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan the chairman of the Senate and House budget committees with their ranking members and. The other negotiators from both sides from both committees there as well. And have this conference meet everyday from when Congress passes the short-term government funding bill up until the January 2nd deadline.

Also pass a ten week debt ceiling increase and with that comes another Congressional conference made up of members of the relevant committees in the House and Senate. With their chairman and ranking members from both the House and Senate there where they would workout the final debt ceiling agreement that would be a one year extension. The final agreement wouldn’t be clean but it would be paid for with deficit and debt reduction that would come with entitlement and tax reform. Both spending cuts and revenue would be on the table. Debt ceiling extensions that are paid for have plenty of precedent going back to the mid. 1980s so this is nothing new and Democrats should be open to this since the Affordable Care Act would not be on the table.

These are big ifs but assuming Congress and President Obama workout long-term budget and debt ceiling agreements. Congress both the House and Senate with the Obama Administration would be represented here as well. Would have a summit with both political parties in both the House and Senate represented in a Congressional healthcare summit where everything would be. On the table including the Affordable Care Act in how to approve healthcare in America and how to make it more affordable. And give this group lets say six months or up until October before Congress goes home to run for reelection. And their job would be to come up with ways to reform and improve the Affordable Care Act but repeal, defund or delay would be off the table.

If I was a Democrat or Republican in leadership in either party this would be my proposal. Because both sides win big deals and give up big deal the ultimate compromise where both sides are not completely satisfied. But a good deal that would be workable where both sides could claim victory with credibility.

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Senate Republicans

Senate Republicans

▶ Senate Republicans Head to White House to Discuss Fiscal Matters – YouTube.

There is a coalition of pragmatic Senate Republicans and Democrats who are even Conservative and Liberal. But who don’t want a government shutdown and will work with the other side to avoid that. This group could do that prevent the United States Government from shutting down. The problem is it wouldn’t pass in the Republican House without a lot of popular support and the House Republican Leadership feeling that they have to pass it. To avoid being blamed for the government shutdown. And would be difficult for President Obama to sign as well because this bill would mean the President. Having once again to take on Progressive special-interest-groups and the House Republican Leadership having to take on the Tea Party. Because this plan would have both entitlement savings and closing of tax loopholes. But that is the compromise that would prevent the Federal Government from shutting down.

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Source: No Labels: The No Labels Plan To Make Government Work

Libertarian economics professor Milton Friedman said and I’m paraphrasing. That he didn’t want a more efficient government because than the people would want more government. And we would have more government programs and have higher taxes. He makes a good point that one way to limit government is to have so much waste that voters won’t want to pay for more. Government but the problem is the tax payers pay for that government waste and get stuck with a lot of government programs. That do not work or are ineffective, not doing what they are supposed to be doing or are duplicative. Meaning those programs already exist and tax payers get stuck paying for both programs that are supposed to do the same thing. So instead of government waste, lets limit government especially at the Federal level to only doing. What we need it to do and pass the rest of the power to the states and locals. As well as the private sector including individuals.

You want government to work better. Than you must have a more limited government and get more power out of Washington so you have fewer people coming to Washington selling. Members of Congress their pet ideas and new programs that costs tax payers money. And as a result you would have less lobbyists in Washington because lobbyists got to where the power is. And I’m not talking about gutting social programs and forcing people in need to fend for themselves. Or sending power out of Washington and not expecting anything in return. But sending the safety-net home after it is reformed to empower mentally and physically able body adults. Who need that public assistance to survive to get themselves the skills that they need to become. Self-sufficient though things like education, job-training and job-placement. So you have fewer people on public assistance and fewer people on public assistance for long periods of. Time and more people working good jobs and taking care of themselves. The states and locals would serve as the directors of these programs while the Feds would serve as the regulator. To see what is working and not working and suggest things to make programs work better.

But to state the obvious the safety-net is not the only thing that needs to be reformed in Washington. We have a bloated defense budget that requires American tax payers to not only finance our own national defense. But for the national defense of other developed countries around the world. So we need to either stop doing that and demand that developed countries defend themselves because we are pulling out. Which is what I want to do or demand that these countries pay us full cost the costs of defending them. As well as reforming the contracting processes in the defense budget so tax payers are only paying for the equipment that we need. To defend ourselves well rather than buying things because it creates jobs in some representative or senators home district or state. That means giving the Pentagon and President more authority over the defense budget.

You want more power to the people and less power for big interests corporate, labor and others especially lobbyists. Then you need a smaller more efficient tax code and you pass my government reform plan we would need a much smaller tax code. As far as the money that we would need to finance the new Federal Government. And that means basically ripping up the current tax code including the income tax. Ripping up most of the tax subsidies and only leaving in the ones that we should have. Like college affordability, the Earn Income Tax Credit, charitable giving and a few others. But eliminate most of the waste in the tax code and move to what I call a Progressive Consumption Tax. Tax people based on what they consume from society rather than what they produce for society. And make it Progressive because we would tax basic necessities that people need to live well. Like food and housing to use as example at fairly low rates. While taxing luxury items like luxury cars, second homes, luxury homes to use as examples at higher rates.

The main reason why the United States Government doesn’t work as well as it should. Because it simply has too much power and responsibility. Not because the civil service are bad, lazy, corrupt people which isn’t true for the most part but because they have too much power and. To much responsibility on their hands. Which is why we have so many lobbyists in Washington lobbying Congress and the White House. So what we should do instead is limit the Federal Government to only doing the things that we need it to do. And get the rest of the power out of Washington and the Federal Government.


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Tax Reform

Tax Reform

Tax Reform and the Size of Government | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Tax reform is the perfect time to reexamine the role of government in America and exactly what we need it to do. Do we need the same Federal budget, do we need to spend more overall or less or about the same amount. Should we cut in some areas while spending more in other areas. Should we cut the overall size of the budget while cutting in some areas and spending more in other areas. Or should we increase the overall size of the budget while cutting in some areas as we spend more in other areas. Since we are talking about tax reform we do not have a perfect tax system or perhaps a very good one. Which I believe is obvious with the current United States tax code. Since we are not only considering tax reform in Congress in both the House and Senate and it looks like the Senate Finance Committee. Is getting ready to release a Bipartisan tax reform tax plan led by their leaders. Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Orin Hatch are working on a Bipartisan plan. If we had such a great tax code to begin with.

I believe we need a tax reform plan that brings down our debt and deficit not increases it. But should go with a broader deficit reduction package. Not passed at the same time but a plan that reduces our debt and deficit mostly by reforming the Federal Government. Not by gutting services that Americans need. But by saving the programs that need that are facing financial trouble. And the programs for the poor that empowers them to get themselves off of public assistance. Through things like education and job-training and job-placement in good jobs. So people on public assistance do not need to stay on those programs as long. Which would save a lot of money long-term because Americans would move off of these programs. Faster and be able to take care of themselves. While we also let the states run these programs saving some work and money for the Feds. And let the Feds serve as a regulator of these programs rather than as director. And go to the defense budget where we should expect and demand developed nations to be able to defend themselves. Rather than Americans picking up those costs.

So after you’ve made the savings you need in the Federal budget and under my approach. I would make the Federal budget and Federal Government smaller overall. Then you need a tax reform plan to go with that but under my plan you wouldn’t need as much revenue in taxes. But you still need a better tax system that collects the revenue you need to run this new. Government where taxes wouldn’t be avoided because everyone that consumes things in America. Would automatically pay taxes on all of their purchases. So yes I’m talking about a Consumption Tax but to replace the Income Tax not to go along with the Income Tax. And not to replace all taxes including the corporate and payroll taxes. Just to replace the Income Tax but that is also Progressive. So basic necessities that people need to live well like food and housing to use as examples. Would be taxed at fairly low rates while luxury items would be taxed at higher rates. While eliminating the wasteful tax deductions in the tax code.

Tax reform is a great way to reduce the debt and deficit because it gives you an opportunity to eliminate the wasteful tax-expenditures in the tax code. While also eliminating a lot of waste in the overall Federal budget and giving you an opportunity to reexamine the role of. Government in America and exactly what we need the Federal Government to do. And we simply do not need as large as a Federal Government that we have today.

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Chairman of The Budget Committee

Chairman of The Budget Committee



Chairman of The Budget Committee

Chairman of The Budget Committee

A deficit of ambition.

At least Senate Democrats are honest when they talk about their priorities to sorta defend them against this Chicago Tribune editorial. When they say their number one priority right now is the economy and they also acknowledge. To have a strong economy deficit reduction needs to happen now and into the future. But it can’t be the only only goal right now because without a strong growing economy. With more people working and out of poverty, you can forget about ever reaching a balance budget. Or achieving serious deficit reduction because the costs that comes from lack of economic growth and high unemployment. Will wipeout whatever savings you make from cutting spending which is something that. The House Republican Leadership simply doesn’t understand or won’t acknowledge.

The Republican Leadership economic policy is still built around increasing the defense budget. At a time when the Defense Department doesn’t need anymore money, they just can’t afford to be cut further. And tax cuts in the trillions of dollars that most benefit the wealthy and aren’t paid for. Back to George W. Bush borrow and spend economics. Where Democrats want a combination of spending cuts but doing it in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone who needs that assistance. And not just targeting areas where most of the money in the Federal budget isn’t. Like in infrastructure, research, poverty assistance. But targeting areas that need to be reformed like in entitlements and defense and the tax code. As well as investing in things that benefit the economy like infrastructure.

If both sides were serious about deficit reduction, then both sides would present a serious plan that goes where the money actually is. Entitlements, defense and the tax code and reforming those areas and looking for savings there. As well as presenting plans that would boost economic growth. Like in infrastructure and tax cuts that encourage economic development in America instead of sending that money oversees. But we are still in the early stages of this debate and both sides aren’t ready to do that yet.

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Financing Fannie and Freddie’s Failures: Newsroom: The Independent Institute.

If you want to know what monopolies are, then look no further then Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. By far the two largest Mortgage Insurance and Housing Lenders in the United States and probably the World. With a Net Worth together, somewhere in the neighborhood of 4T$. That went under in 2008, just before the Federal Government took control of them. To prevent them from going under, which would’ve meant 4T$ out of the economy. And people losing their Mortgage Insurance and loans. Fannie and Freddie are what are known as Government Sponsored Enterprises. Basically Non Profit Corporations that were created by the Federal Government. And to a certain extent owned by them but are operated Independently of the Federal Government. And are Self Financed, the US Postal Service is essentially a GSE as well as Amtrak. We couldn’t afford to let Fannie and Freddie go under, with its current Management Structure. But we really can’t afford to keep them in place, with their current Management Structure as well.

Fannie and Freddie are two corporations that have been Semi Private. Again with a combine Net Worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 4T$. The largest corporations in the World. So if they go down they bring a lot of people and money with them. What should be done with both of them, is break them up into. Fifty different Non Profit Mortgage Lenders and Insurers each, that would be private but tightly regulated. Meaning they would have to stay as Non Profits and meet the same rules and regulations. As other corporations that provide the same services. This way if one of these company’s gets into trouble. They wouldn’t bring down the whole economy with them. Because of being worth roughly 20% of the economy each, as they are now. They would be worth roughly 50B$ or less then 1/3 of 1%. So if they were to go down or go through bankruptcy. It wouldn’t devastate the economy, if they were in trouble today. Let each State have a Fannie and Freddie, with their own Managements and Board of Directors.

Fannie and Freddie can’t succeed the way they are set up now and we can’t afford to let them fail either. But there is a role for Non Profits in the Banking Sector, to provide some competition. And so people can get loans and insurance that they can afford. Without their lender and insurer raising their rates. Just to make a few more bucks.

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