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The 2011 Budget Pie

April 6, 2011

Take a moment to look over my pie chart. This is what all the argument is about… mere crumbs in relation to the overall pie. This is what threatens a shutdown of the federal government. The republicans are holding up the spending bill over a difference between the $33 billion in cuts that the Democrats propose and the $61 billion that they are proposing. In addition, the republicans want to gut all the programs that help ordinary everyday Americans – like NPR, Pell Grants, Headstart, Planned Parenthood, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It should be obvious that republicans are not just trying to reduce the deficit, but are attempting to do away with every program that doesn’t favor the wealthiest Americans. That is the republican way. They want to cut $61 billion when they just won an extension of the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans that amount to $83 billion per year. Do you see the irony here?

Democrats and the media are partially to blame for their inability to expose the republican plan for what it is… a wholesale dismantling of all government-run social programs. These programs could easily be paid for if Congress had a collective brain larger than a pie crumb. Here’s how I would pay for the budget cuts with money left over:

Do away with the tax breaks for the wealthy and save $83 billion per year
End the war in Iraq and save $51.1 billion per year
End the war in Afghanistan and save $119.4 billion per year
End the war on drugs and save $15 billion per year
Put a stop to Medicare fraud and save $60 billion per year
Put a stop to Social Security fraud and save $50 billion per year

Add up these savings and we could have an extra $378.5 billion toward this year’s budget deficit which is $3.8 Trillion over 10 years. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) wants to reduce spending by $4 Trillion over the next 10 years. Making the few cuts that I propose plus taking away all the congressional perks would give Mr. Ryan the $4 Trillion he wants while leaving our necessary social programs intact. Granted, a lot more waste needs to be cut to eliminate our overall deficit, but there is plenty of waste that could be cut without further devastating the lower and middle-income citizens.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2011 10:29 PM

    Wow thats fabulous. You hit the nail on the head.

  2. BigR permalink
    July 13, 2011 5:35 PM

    So do you propose that we cut the Medicare and Social Security by $110 Billion and assume we will remove the fraud. Or do you propose to cut benefits by even more so we have the money to implement systems to stop the fraud?

    Most of your costs for the wars won’t go away until there is also troop reduction after we bring the troops home. Or I suppose you would want to just fire all the troops and put them on the street as soon as they get back to the states.

    incase you didn’t notice it was the Democratic controlled congress and president that passed the extensions to the bush tax cuts. The Republicans fought for it for two more years because 83 Billion a year is a lot cheaper economic stimlus then any other Bama economic stimlus package.

    Legalize drugs and save 15 billion is also short sited, we would have increased health care costs within two years. But hey, it might stimulate the economy for muchies for all the stoners

    • July 14, 2011 2:18 PM

      Hi BigR and thanks for taking time to comment. Although your points are a little skewed from the ones I was making, I will try to respond as best I can.

      First of all, I didn’t propose any cuts to Medicare or Social Security, nor would I assume that any such cuts would stem fraud and abuse. We already have systems in place that are supposed to be attacking this problem. I would kick these government employees in the ass and make them do their jobs. Then, if I found that additional agents were needed, a lot of them could be hired for a fraction of the $110 billion/year that would be saved if waste, fraud and abuse in these two programs were wiped out (not realistically likely), and there’d be money left over to shore up the programs.

      As for the fate of our troops after the wars end, I think it’s shameful that there are already so many homeless vets on the streets. The cost of paying the troops is a small fraction of the total cost of these wars, and I think we all hope the wars will end soon – one way or another. When they do, your question requires an answer… what to do with all these troops when there are no jobs here at home. We need to maintain a strong military even in peacetime, so many of them should be retained if that is their choice. I would try to find jobs for the rest within federal, state and local governments. These soldiers are trained in a variety of valuable skills that should be used to improve the country for which they sacrificed so much.

      I am painfully aware that Obama and the democrats were complicit in extending the Bush tax cuts. I’m still pissed off about that, but they did so because the obstructionist republicans wouldn’t pass the budget otherwise and the government would have shutdown. I don’t understand how you can possibly think that the $83 billion/year tax break for the wealthiest Americans is “economic stimulus”. It’s just a giveaway to the republicans’ benefactors, and a loss of badly needed revenue.

      Maybe you didn’t hear that the Global Commission on Drug Policy recently submitted their report stating that the U.S. “War on Drugs” has been an abysmal failure. It might do you good to Google it and read it. Do you really want to continue squandering $15 billion/year on a failed policy? There are much better and cheaper ways of dealing with the problem. What you and your ilk don’t understand is that Americans who use drugs will do so regardless of policy or legislation. So tell me how health care costs would increase if we stop wasting money on an agenda that doesn’t work to begin with. If Marijuana (which doesn’t have any negative health effects) were legalized and taxed, we could have new jobs for Americans and a new stream of revenue that could help get us out of debt, rather than having all that money go to the black market and jailing otherwise upstanding citizens who just want to catch a buzz. You republicans are all about preventing the government from interfering in our lives, where are you all when it’s okay to drink liquor, but you could be arrested for smoking a joint?

      I don’t know if we will ever see eye-to-eye, but at least you and I are communicating… unlike our representatives in Washington who are paid well to do so.

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