This debt ceiling thing has been complicated by a combination of Washington DC stupidity and deceit. It is really pretty simple if you apply a little COMMON SENSE. What would you do if you were spending more money than you were earning?
Obama is encouraging Congress to create a 10-year plan to reduce the record fiscal deficits he's created. His plan would give lip service to expense cuts over the next 10 to 12 years and would raise taxes now on job producers in what he calls a "balanced plan". He wants to ink a plan before August 2, and he wants to raise the ceiling enough that he will not have to do it again until after his 2012 election (that would be in excess of $2.5 Trillion increased debt). He surrounds his plan with lies that to not raise the ceiling now he "can not guarantee that social security checks would go out", and he claims it would cause "a worldwide economic crisis".
The truth? In August the US government will take in about $203 Billion in revenues while facing expense payments of $362 Billion. They have the money to pay interest on the debt, social security, medicaid, medicare, military, and veterans. After that they have an expense problem.
When I read about debts and deficits in the news, I can't help thinking about how an individual or typical household would respond to a similar crisis. Would they run out and borrow more? Maybe, but it would only increase the likelihood of bankruptcy. Any family that truly wanted to reduce its debts and avoid bankruptcy would immediately cut expenses and start living within its means. It might start selling as much stuff as it could, raising cash to pay off its debts. Its just COMMON SENSE.
Let's look at a list of expenses that the Republicans in the House have recommended reducing or eliminating:
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.
Save America's Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.
International Fund for Ireland. $17 million annual savings.
Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.
National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.
National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.
Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.
Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.
Eliminate duplicative education programs.. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings..
Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.
Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.
John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.
Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.
Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.
Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings. DUH!!!
Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.
Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.
Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.
Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.
Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.
New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings. WHAT IS THIS???
Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts . $9 million annual savings. What the hell is this anyway…?
Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.
Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.
Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.
Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.
Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.
Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings. Close Dept of Energy…
FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.
Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.
Economic Assistance to Egypt . $250 million annually.
U.S. Agency for International Development.. $1.39 billion annual savings.
General Assistance to District of Columbia . $210 million annual savings.
Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.
Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.
No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings. Stop Growing Government…!
End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services. Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.
IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing payments to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings. WHAT THE HELL…! FIRE THE BASTARDS…
Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years. TAXPAYER FUNDED UNIONS…. COME ON!!!
Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.
Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.
Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.
Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.
USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.
Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).$93 million annual savings.
Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.
Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.
Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings.
Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years
These don't even touch the biggest spending villain which is Medicaid. Nor does it tackle Medicare and Social Security problems. However, at this late date the House Republicans should take the Krauthammer plan: Package $500 Billion immediate spending cuts and extend the debt ceiling by no more than six months with no tax increases. Pass this plan in the House and send it to the Senate and President. If they don't pass this bill then they face the August spending problems. If they do pass this plan, then they have to immediately come up with a new plan to raise the debt ceiling again within 6 months.
Think about it,