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Monday, February 14, 2011

Economic Education

Well the new National Budget is out ... ironically they have to wheel the thing out on pallets its so big ... wonder how much that cost to put together?

Why the hell don't they just make it into a .pdf or some other form that Congress can use to look at it on their laptops/tablets/kindle/nooks?  After all, this is supposed to be the President of the new century, right?

what - are they afraid that the budget will get out into the open?  I'm sorry - but its going to get into the press anyhow - its a matter of public record.

And just think of the BILLIONS of dollars they would save instead of having to print up that whole thing for EVERY person of congress plus the press (at least I'm assuming the press gets a copy since they seem to know whats gonna be in it)
what to expect:
  • taxes will go up
  • tax breaks will go down
  • nothing will be done to medicare/social security
  • total budget = $3.73TRILLION/yr (2012)
  • loss of mortgage interest tax break
  • age of retirement will go up
  • cut in defense
  • rise in education budget
  • less charitable tax break (charities are really hating this, it means they will likely get less)
  • Cap & Gains taxes will go from 15% to 20%
  • Estate taxes will come back and go up!
  • this is not something that will only effect those making $250,000 either
Lets take a close look at all this ....

The budget BALLOONED under Obama's administration ... as soon as he got into office the Democratic dominated Senate/House went spending like a college kid with a new credit card ... and the President didn't know how to tell them no ... what went across his desk in the first two years that he didn't sign?

Let's also remind ourselves that under his watch UNEMPLOYMENT went to its highest since the 70's ... this is less income tax into the coffers ... and no, you really can't blame it on the previous administration - every president since Carter (thats how far back my memory really goes on politics) has come into office with some sort of economic crisis & unemployment, and every one got it under control within the first year if not sooner (GWB even got his first one under control before we were hit by 9/11) ...

Then there was the banking fiasco which - I'm sorry if you don't believe me - didn't occur until the Democrats started their campaigning.  They purposely used people's panic to shake people's confidence with banks - the same thing that brought about the Great Depression - in the hopes that it would turn people against the Republicans ... never mind the fact that the Dems were in charge of the purse-strings. 

All in all, it meant less income tax on the interest rates people get on their accts ... it means less income based on interest rates between banks ...

When the banks shook the HOUSING situation went with it ... that means less property taxes and, believe it or not, income taxes from the sale of houses.  When cities/states lose property tax in their coffers, there is less money to go to the federal government.

BUT - let's also remember that they have been passing mandates and spending bills all this time based on the old numbers.

No one bothered to sit back when the banking crisis hit ... or the housing crisis ... or even the unemployment rise .... no sat back and asked "so what does this do to what we THINK we will have?"

No one bothered to redo the budget based on income at that time ...

Don't get me wrong - I understand that they felt that there was an immediate need to extend unemployment payments to people (since they killed business) ...

but did they HAVE to pass the Health Care Law? no ... but they did it anyways, and spent the money to figure it all out - several times.

Did they cut the number of employees in Washington DC? no - in fact it has nearly doubled in size (from my understanding) and they have redundencies you wouldn't believe.

Did they cut the pay of Congressional members? oh hell no - in fact while they did 'freeze' the regular pay for the members, they increased what they can take off as 'expenses'.

Here's an idea - you all can SAVE MONEY by having Representatives/Senators LIVE IN THEIR HOME STATES FULL TIME ... what? Yes - there is no reason that they can not 'telecommute' and vote via electronics.

The reason that Congress would meet in Washington DC was because they really had no choice 235yrs ago.  They could only do things face-to-face ... they didn't have such things as Skype ... they didn't have anyway to speak to each other in a timely manner - if they weren't together then things had to be done via mail which could take a week to get a letter to the next senator ...

by setting up an electronic system we would actually increase the safety to the members ... the seat of power wouldn't be concentrated in one location ... they would be more wide-spread and harder to fall prey.

and it would not only save money spent on travel back and forth to DC ... save money on living expenses (they no longer would have to maintain 2 households at taxpayer expense) ... save money on security costs ... but it would save money on the paper which would need to be generated since the communications would already be taking place electronically, they might as well do everything else via electronic means as well.

They could still meet once a quarter for a week or so in DC if they really felt the need - but instead of having to spend over a million a year on rent for a house in DC they could simply stay at hotels in the area ... for one week it has to be cheaper than renting for a year. if you've got a representative who is spending more than $1M a week on hotel/food, you can bet its going to show up and make people take notice.

They wouldn't have to spend extra money on food - they would be in touch with the people in their home states more ... they would be more aware of the cost of living of people where they are coming from. 

And people would be able to keep an eye on them more ... when they go off to DC they fall out of the 'public eye' and then that is when things start to go awry ... that is when they suddenly thing that they are above the rules of the general public and can get away with whatever they wish - and have things hushed up with they do.

You also have to wonder how much would be saved if they stopped letting these senators take 'peace missions' and 'exploratory trips' to foreign countries (mostly on the sly) ... all this hits the people of the states.

Because they get taxed out the eyeballs by the states - they feel the pinch even more when the federal government feels the need to charge more.

I think the President should still live in DC though - after all he is the figure head of things and needs to be there to greet foreign heads-of-state. 

but the VP can live in his state ... perhaps in what is called the "Governors Mansion" ... to me there is no reason that a state governor can't live in their regular residence, but then I know that the Governor Residence in our state holds not only living quarters, but offices as well that the Governor uses.

I'd also like to see how things have changed as far as "Presidential vacations" go ... or how about costs for the use of AF1?  or costs for all those vehicles used in the motorcades? or the price for the staff in the WH kitchens?

Speaking of food - then there was the huge cost when Pelosi decided that the Capital cafeteria's had to go to all organic/fresh foods.  They say that everyday food was being dumped out because it couldn't be served a second day - things couldn't be 'carried over' even if it didn't leave the kitchen.

I mean we all like fresh food - less 'fast food' - but we wouldn't like it if we had to empty out the refridgerator everyday and refill it again.

I think there are tons of things that DC can do to save money without having to attack those who put the money in their paychecks.

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