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A Post Election Challenge | An Independent Voters View
All right, we are two weeks away from the mid-term elections. As an independent voter, I have seen little on real legislative initiatives by either party. The Dems are defending the poop pile of their record with a fire hose of cesspool ads about the opposition candidates and the Repubs, have put out a 41 page pledge that doesn’t really say anything new, except that they will read the bills before they vote, (this is a de-facto admission that they haven’t been reading them either) Du-uh! Their cesspool ads seem to be fewer, but they are out there too. What a load of Old Rubbish to both sides!
As for the Media (Fox News included), none are pressing for either to tell anyone what their plans might be. Whether they slant left or right, the media has given all of them a free pass on the tough questions; like how are we gonna pay the bills? What are you gonna plan to cut? How are you gonna bend the cost curve on Medical costs? How exactly are you gonna prevent waste and fraud in Government programs since we’ve seen the need for this since the 80’s?
Since the Media have not asked this it is time for us to do so here on the web. I challenge you the reader here and now to do a hub or a blog on this subject this week. Let’s all of us left, right, and center start the debate here and now. What are the answers? What will we accept as reforms in Medicare, Social Security, Defense, and Discretionary Spending?
Where are the big ideas on reform? Well yes folks, I have a few. Here they are the big ones:
1 SOCIAL SECURITY, - I already rode one bubble once this and my current retirement age is now 67; lets look at doing it this way, persons age 60 retire now in 2011 at full benefits, (this will open up jobs for the younger folks). If you are 55-60 (My group) start planning for full benefits at 70, with a 2% increase per year if you delay it until 75, same 2% penalty per year if you apply for benefits early. All below 55 plan for full benefits at age 72. If you are eligible and choose to waive benefits at age 72 you are tax exempt no matter what your income. I haven’t a clue on how much this will save but I suspect it would be substantial. Means test all eligible for retirement income over $100,000 per year. Yeah I know you contributed all your life but sometimes the right thing to do is make a sacrifice for the greater good.
2. Medicare – Still eligible at age 65, complete independent review of every payable line item in the Medicare/Medicaid system, let’s find the $20.00 Surgical Sponges (a 4X 4 in piece of gauze) that I can buy at Kroger for .39 cents and start paying say .40 cents instead. Pay the Docs what they are worth, but allow for seeing Nurse Practitioners, or Physician Assistants that have a lower rate and make sure it is billed accordingly. ( I am looking for more on this from some of you who may be more familiar with its intricacies as I have no expertise in this area).
3. Government Employees – I will lead from the front on this one. So folks understand I am a GS-6 and certainly do not feel overpaid for what I do. But what I propose is a pay freeze for at least the next two years, and in fact I think the Government should tie all future increases solely to the cost of living. If someone on social security doesn’t get an increase then neither should I as a gov employee. Further to all my fellow employees follow my lead and give at least as much as next year’s increase to the Combined Federal Campaign (Federal way to give to local and national charities).
4. DEFENSE SPENDING – Target future pay raises for the next two years for personnel who have multiple combat tours and freeze the rest. Freeze weapons programs for sustainment levels and R&D only for next two years. If DOD decides they have to change the healthcare promise again for the troops, do it with incoming members only do not repeat the big lie that you did on me and my contemporaries with TRICARE in the late 70’s.
5. DISCRETIONARY SPENDING- return to 2005 levels and freeze it.
6. TAX POLICY – I cannot see how it would be helpful to increase taxes on any one making less than 2,000,000 per year. So many of the entrepreneur’s we need to make new jobs are in this class that I think we may well need to give them incentives beyond the current tax code, (Yes lets reward success to a point). President Obama has said 86% of the 787 Billion comes from those making 1,000,000 or more. Let’s settle for say 83% and move forward with growth. I call this the Warren Buffet Tax increase, as he has said he can afford it so let him put his money in the pot. The key point here is twofold, we have to pay our bills, but neither should the government be running a surplus, the books should balance.
Well there it is folks, do your hubs or blogs then come back and comment and add the link
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