Monday, December 4, 2017

Tax Bill - It's a START

Neither the House version nor the Senate version is even close to perfect. Too many loopholes, too gentle a treatment of the housing deduction, too many tax brackets, too skewed towards taxing the top.

However, it is a start.

What will be even more important is to eliminate that inequity that occurs when ONE segment of the population - recipients of government benefits - are insulated from the realities of government overspending.

What happens when you spend too much in government, is that you add to the federal debt. Like a household that overspends the wage-earner's paycheck, a debt is a clear indication that your budget is out of whack.

If you start loading up a credit card, eventually, the accumulating interest takes a greater and greater slice out of your available money. You end up paying up mostly (or all) interest, and the debt never goes away.

That's the situation we're in with the federal debt. It CANNOT be solved by "raising taxes on the rich". We don't have that many rich. Those that we do have will find some way to avoid that tax, usually done by <s> bribing</s> donating to politicians.

There are only two real choices:

  • Pay it back, or,
  • Default - yes, that's like a bankruptcy
Neither is palatable to professional politicians. But, default is something that should cause terror among the voters. Default would mean a worldwide collapse of the economy. We're that big, and we owe that much to other nations.

Can we pay it back? Yes, if we refuse to raise the limit on the debt. That's what all that posturing is about a few times a year. That's what Trump forced the Congress to authorize recently. He said, if you want it raised, YOU have to vote for it.

Of course they did. They know their constituents would have horse-whipped them if they didn't.

So, that leaves paying it back.

Such a solution seems insurmountable. But, it's not entirely impossible. We just have to use an all-out approach.
  • No more authorizing programs that are not paid SOLELY from fees exacted on the people who benefit.
  • Immediately - stop ALL raises, inflationary adjustments, and increases on EVERY person getting a government check. Let them begin to feel the pinch that taxpayers feel, whose paycheck is NOT indexed to inflation.
  • Start a bounty program on fraud in government. If you can track down evidence of fraud (NOT accidental overpayment) by a recipient of government money - whether in armed services purchases, welfare fraud, Medicare/Medicaid billing, or manipulating regulations to award money to a specific person/company, you get a percentage of that money. NO plea deals that don't include a FULL payback of the stolen money - non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, loss of government pension and all benefits, and a public admission of a felony - which, by agreement, will NOT qualify for a pardon or clemency.
  • The first year, take 2% of all Social Security checks, and apply the money to the federal debt. The bottom 10% will be exempt.
  • If SS recipients have an income more than twice that of their SS check, they will lose 1/2 of that check - permanently. This will stop the idiocy of paying out to rich retirees, who have income to spare.
  • NO more gender surgery, unless the person has an actual MEDICAL condition. NOT "I FEEL like a woman". Born with ambiguous genitalia, lost a part through accident or cancer surgery, or other honest-to-God medical anomalies qualify. Self-inflicted harm (dick-ectomy, for example) allows you to regain the mutilated part - AFTER counseling. No amounts of threats to DIY or suicide threats will change this policy.
  • End the current student loan program. Reinstate it with limitations:
    • No grant or loan can exceed the AVERAGE of state colleges' yearly tuition.
    • The actual amount is predicated by the students' major - STEM careers can qualify for the max amount. Liberal Arts and Humanities - perhaps 1/2. Students are free to choose, but - it's gonna cost 'ya if you choose poorly.
    • For students not otherwise qualifying for admission into a 4-year school, they may use their loans at a community college or technical school.
    • ALL students must make adequate progress. Regular schedules, with math and english and other requirements each semester. If they don't qualify for college-level courses, they can give up a summer for a prep program - yeah, we'll pay for it with a LOAN. That loan can be converted into a grant, IF they can pass a standardized test at the end.
      • BTW, withdrawals count against the next semester's loan. If you drop, the money you might receive is reduced by an amount equal to that dropped class's cost.
  • Re-vamp the military academies. They are letting in too many marginal soldiers - academically, physically, and morally. Better to have smaller classes than to risk putting unqualified officers in charge.
    • Consider requiring all potential officers to have served in an actual military unit before admitting them.
    • Or, use their summers as a way of getting them into the field for some actual experience each year.
    • Get rid of those Leftist instructors. There are too many qualified teachers to put up with that crap!
That's just a start.

1 comment:

MMinLamesa said...

I used to list ways we could reduce the debt too. It's cathartic but the feeling passes.