Great posts from gator, maguro and personality. I would like to add two cents if i could.
From Gator we know that we must choose. Inaction is the one option we don't have. To that item, I would add that I do not believe that we will be able to cut our way to health. At least not totally. It simply is not working in Europe. Europe is in a snail like forgiveness of debt mode. When enough debt has been paid and enough debt forgiven, they will begin to grow again. We don't have that option. Do we have to cut? YES. And across the board if we can't agree on specifics. For the United States, unfunded "entitlements" like SS and Medcare/caid are really tough. Try 55 trillion tough. We have to work longer......age 70 for starters, IMMEDIATELY. Layer it in.
Present 65 year olds work to 66.
Present 60 year olds work to 66
55 year olds work to 67
50 year olds work to 68
45 year olds work to 69
40 year olds work to 70. This cuts over 50 percent of the problem, simply by working!!! Do I want to pick up parking lots or flip burgers when I am 69 years old? No. Tough sh....t! We voted for the people who spent our money. We either did not pay enough to cover the bills, or allowed it to happen by our votes. We did it for more than a GENERATION........ALL of us. We are ALL complicit. We all have to sacrifice. It is a small price and the least we can do for #$%$ up our country's finances! Which brings me to Maguro.
Like Maguro, I find it extremely odd that the states of the country who are the greatest TAKERS from the Federal budget, seem also to be the most adamant that this President is leading us to a socialist, welfare state. Perverse irony I think? And why are these same states falling all over themselves GIVING money to FOREIGN corporations to attract them to their state (and we see post after post about a LOAN to GM)? Money these states can never hope to earn back. I like all our southern states, but my state, as a top PAYER into the system and bailer out of Texas too many times to count, now has to hear of ridiculous secession referendums????? Really?? That is the HEIGHT of funny. No, we can't kick out states or run away. Let's solve instead. REDUCE TRADE IMBALANCES AND BRING AMERICAN JOBS HOME. We will never get wealthy as a country, having Walmart importing away our jobs to the scrap heap. If foreign countries refuse our goods, begin to tariff them. We do not want a trade war ever but being nice has not worked. We will not have a trade war, BELIEVE ME. Foreign countries need us big time. We have been the poster child for free trade. Skip that! I want FAIR trade. Begin to GROW our way out of this issue.
Demand accountability and change our "take" culture. If you have a business demanding cash payments, demand an electronic receipt!!
Personality is right. If we don't start deciding, the market will decide for us. Take action. Start. Together. If we make a mistake, we will correct it. My two cents. Anyway, Happy Holidays.
How does NOT cutting taxes and NOT cutting spending reduce the federal deficit? You have to choose....which is more important, the economy or the deficit? Government spending means jobs and lower tax rates means less money to spend. You choose.
I agree. The consumer will continue to be hesitant and wall street will stagnate until this fiscal cliff stuff is resolved. IF, it doesn't get resolved, and taxes go back to before, expect a violent backlash from Wall Street. And rightly so. Individuals/families will have to cough up thousands more for income taxes and they will CLAMP down on spending to account for having to fork over more to the Feds. THAT ALONE WILL PUT US BACK IN A RECESSION!
You all have a good point. But the Reps have been trying to inject uncertainty and "country risk" into the economy to retard recovery for some time and then blame their opponents for it. I thought they would stop doing that after the elections, but apparently not. "Country risk", thanks to them, is not going away any time soon and is something we are not used to here - it was always off shore somewhere. The US is no longer seen as a safe haven for investors.
Business hates uncertainty in its environment more than it hates the specifics because with uncertainty they can't run numbers. Note that the Reps are only talking about "entitlements" though a few also mention the unsustainable military budget. Basically they are very interested in focusing away from their patron's interests. For example, the US expends 1/4 US GDP on medical care overall and the financial sector. That 1/4 was bought by lobbyists in Washington. There are many billions spent on unnecessary business subsidies starting with agribusiness and going up the alphabet. Except for Texas and Georgia (metro Atlanta) the core Deep South states are on Washington welfare. They are enabled to be social and economic fossils by our money in transfer payments - Mississippi is the most extreme.
So the Reps have settled on "entitlements". They are going to temporarily settle the budget problems of the United States by snuffing Granny. Paul Ryan's Medicare replacement plan sends more billions to insurance companies with vouchers and only works financially by shortening US life expectancy by at least 5 years. US life expectancy is already the lowest overall in the Western developed nations. The Rep idea is that people should ideally die in net worth order.
In a dozen years the dollar will be worth maybe half what it is now no matter what party wins. So freezing the CPI is a way of cutting SS checks by half in that time. People are going to die from that, and that seems to be the Rep idea. We get more executive jets as the direct trade off. I wish that was hyperbole but it's not.
Maybe we have to start thinking out of the box and eject the core Deep South states and have a real border - a lot has been learned about that on the border with Mexico. The US these days is not one country and it's not in our interest to pretend it is.