Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My one sentence answer to take back control of the U.S. deficit

What America needs is a short and sweet super-simple answer to reel in the runaway Federal budget deficit. Forget all the political wrangling, hard to understand legalese, and 3000 page impossibly unreadable Congressional bills. We want real solutions without the endless debate, discussion, and insider in-fighting.

So enough preamble already – spit it out man! Ok, here is goes … I propose the U.S. government simply FREEZE THE BUDGET AS IS, AND ALLOW NO PERCENTAGE INCREASES OF ANY KIND for the next two years in any department, on any bill, ammendment or program. Programs can be REDUCED or eliminated as needed and the money can be reclaimed for new legislation or priorities. But whatever that magic spending number is in 2010, then THAT is EXACTLY THE SAME Budget you get for the next two years. That’s it – no doublespeak Washington math where a “CUT” is simply a reduction in the size of an increase. No hard to understand cost of living formulas, raise pools, indexing, mark-ups, earmarks, shanks, hocks, bacon, ham or all-inclusive PORK!

Now honestly ask yourself, how hard can this be? Yes there may be some marginal inflation or really good folks that could go without a standard step raise for a couple of years. But in reality, most families suffer these kinds of adjustments from time to time and deal with it just fine. If your budget at home gets a little tight, you may choose not to go out to the movies or eat out as often? You may decide to put off getting your car detailed or you’ll switch to buying Pop Tarts from Target (a pretty good value by the way) vs. your corner supermarket? You might ask your kids to help out a bit more or do a family garage sale to generate some fun money? Whatever it is, you adjust right?

If your raise was not quite what you expected this year, did you just collapse in a blubbering heap of self-pity or did you simply move on even MORE determined to make things happen for next year at review time? I think almost everyone has been in a situation like this, so as uncomfortable as these tough circumstances can be, normal people recognize that it is part of life and do just fine.

Yes the solution appears simplistic, but assuming government and its myriad of programs has functioned adequately this year, then there is no reason to think that they cannot do ALMOST as well on a few percentage points less over two more years. Plus I believe from my own experience, when it is time for a little belt tightening, it is amazing what kind of waste you can find in your operations to cut down or eliminate outright. Do you really need 200 channels of cable and a DVR in every room? Do you have time to read Cosmo, Popular Mechanics, Reader’s Digest AND my FREE blog or could you easily eliminate one or more of those costly news sources? (Emphasis on COST not relevancy – so don’t get cute)

You get the point. Government just needs a reset and literally the OPPORTUNITY to look for savings and efficiencies at ALL LEVELS. If everyone pitches in and tries to save supplies here and there, or adjust their workstations to make work easier and FASTER – is that an unreasonable burden during these tough times? Just think, on the Congressional front alone, what will all our representatives have to debate and fight about for the next two years if the budget is already set in stone? They could skip the two martini & Morton's steak once a week and partake in Denny's $5.99 burger and unlimited beverage and fries - what a deal! Maybe it would afford them more time to visit their constituents and truly LEARN what people want and need from government rather than what issues political PARTIES try to manufacture and push to Americans for their own selfish agendas?

On second thought NIX that idea – keep the reps in Washington! Speaker Pelosi’s NEW government funded Boeing 757 (200 seat USAF C-32) runs about $60,000 in fuel EACH WAY on the weekly trip back to her San Francisco home. I think even the Speaker could benefit from a little face … oops (cheap shot - sorry but you KNOW you were thinking it!) BELT tightening? Can somebody please introduce her to SKYPE – its free EVEN FOR Washington POLITICIANS, and it works really, really well!

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