spend and cut

by anthony

Keep the fantasy in your head of the ideal world you feel this one will magically turn into.  If you would like to actually see any difference, though, you will need to either harshly drag yourself back to reality or get the <expletive> out of the way.

There are a lot of us living here between these two blue oceans and we all need to calm down for a few minutes (and then, indefinitely).  Please understand something: We will never, ever, entirely get our way.  Life cannot survive that way.  That means, eventually, someone will get an abortion and somewhere a patch of trees and animals will be destroyed.  That’s the world we live in.  But, if we do not realize that we must compromise, then we are going to find out that none of us are going to be getting anything, and quickly.

As I see it, the core of our wants/differences is simple (mind you, I do not include religious wants because we are a secular nation and I do not place a regard on religion in policy-making):  Liberals do not mind spending a little more (or, a lot in some cases) for entitlement programs.  Conservatives do mind, as they feel their money is theirs and that entitlements go to undeserving people and corrupt politicians.

It is very well known by everyone that there is an overwhelming amount of financial waste in every program that is government sponsored.  This waste amounts to the very conservative tune of tens of billions of dollars a year.  I know the words “millions”, “billions”, and now, “trillions” hold a day-to-day place in our lexicons within any dialogue involving the cost of most things in this world.  And most of us act as if either we are in possession of this wealth or will soon be.  But, take a moment, right now, to really understand the enormity of those words when relating to real money.  Stop and think of all the money in all of your bank accounts, IRAs, stocks, etc and stack it up against the image of ten million dollars, then ten billion.  10,000,000,000.  This is not money that could pay a few bills.  This is money that exceeds the entire worth of multiple nations in this world combined.

And, to think, that is just the money that is wasted.

Liberals want to spend, conservatives want to cut.  So, how about we compromise?  We spend AND cut.  Liberals get to keep all of their entitlement programs and conservatives get to cut from those programs and lower taxes.

How about we cut waste and taxes first?  Let’s have public forums, similar to city council meetings, made up of citizens with a political representative present.  Each one is dedicated to different entitlement programs within the government.  These forums will be established for the local, state and national levels.  We all have issues we are passionate about, so, I feel we should be required to know about them, stand up for them and improve them when needed.  The purpose will be to come to consensus on all of the waste needing to be trashed, beginning with administrative waste and leaving direct recipient care for last.  And there is no rush.  This committee will meet as much as possible until these programs are all cleaned out.  How do we get or make people participate, if this would be required?  Perhaps a little legal bribery.  Participate in your community, participate in your politics, in your nation and you get a tax break of anywhere between .5% and 2%.

Now we have billions of already approved spending dollars and the people are already seeing a direct result of those cuts.  Let’s spend.  The waste committees will simply need to oversee at this point so new committees now get formed to, again, comb through and chart out everything that needs to improve or be added and the costs attached.  Remember, these systems are good, solid systems; they are just broken, busted up and corrupted right now.  And these additional expenditures, I can just about guarantee, would not come close the amount that was just saved in waste and trimmings while reaping greater sustainability through their efficiency.

We cut what’s needed, we spend on what we should and we all get a kickback on our taxes in return (on top of our little “participation” tax break as well).  Tax and Spend or Cut and Privatize?  Well, we have just freed up billions from clearing out the waste, right?  So, again, we compromise.  Everyone (the poor, middle and upper classes) get tax breaks.  It doesn’t have to be a doomsday slashing of 20%.  Just a few percentage points could make a huge difference.  In return?  No More Loopholes.  You make forty million a year, well, you pay taxes on forty million.  No overseas shelters, no investment breaks, no shifting monies into IRAs or whatever else you could think about to escape them.  We give you a break, you pay up.

Now, healthy American cynicism probably will bring about the logic of complete impossibility at this point.  Liberals reading this will immediately point out the fact that conservatives want ties to big oil, politicians and lobbying because that’s where the money is; that they want corruption.  Conservatives will point out the fact that liberals are soft and lazy, only looking out for those who won’t help themselves, and that if everyone had respect for themselves, pulled their own weight and did something, then we would be able to end the mentality that breeds dependence on entitlements.

Me?  I think people need to begin being part of the solution and cease pointing blame elsewhere for their problems.  However, with that said, both liberals and conservatives need to find a little integrity to understand that these views are also absolutely correct.  Perhaps it is time we all start staring into those mirrors?

OK, the theory works, but, how do we get Congress to cut taxes?  I don’t really expect most people reading this to honestly believe that our politicians would ever agree to any of this, not to mention enforce it.  I don’t either.  I suppose it all comes down to you and I then, doesn’t it?  How do we get them to represent us?  That’s simple.  We demand it.  I know people in this country have this crazy idea that nothing can get done in Washington, that the people have no power (nor the will to exert it), and I have believed that for most of my life as well.  The truth is, though, we do.

It is time for citizen action.  We elect people and we pay these representatives of our homes just as a business owner pays their employees.  So, how about we begin to actually look at them as such?  Let’s educate them on what we want.  Let’s lead by example, so, when a politician or a business stops working by the ethics we have in regards to our business, we have earned the right to remove them for an employee who lives up to our standards.

That’s Democracy.  That’s what I believe the Tea Party believes in.  That is what I believe Occupiers believe in.  That is what I believe most citizens believe in.  But we ALL need to be active, and, above all, we need to begin compromising…