Monday, November 15, 2010

Self Sufficiency

The GOP just took back the House of Representatives, and President Obama's Debt Commission has issued a preliminary report.  Serious talk of serious budget reform is breaking out all over, and progressives are panicking.

They say all the slash and burn is crazy talk...  Well, anyone who thinks we can continue down our current path of handing everything out to everyone is also crazy.  You can't raise taxes high enough to pay for it all, and there will come a day when the US government can no longer borrow more money.

The Wall Street Journal and  Bloomberg each have a good article on the debt panel recommendations.  As Alan Simpson says, they did indeed harpoon almost every whale.

Ethanol is Immoral.  Farm subsidies need to go.  Poor farmers with small plots of land don't qualify anyway; it's the corporate farms that get your tax money.  We also need to demand an end to the ethanol and flex fuel subsidies.  Government takes our money and starves people to feed cars, driving up the price of food in the process.  It's immoral.

I agree with cutting social security benefits, but that must be accompanied by a strong, stable dollar policy so our savings are not eaten up by inflation.  Additionally, interest and dividends should not be taxed.  If you want us to do for ourselves more in our old age, stop stealing our nest eggs by taxation and inflation.

I also agree with slashing government bureaucracy and programs, but that needs to be accompanied by lowering the bar to employment and new business creation.  A job is the key to self-sufficiency,but government regulation and taxation are chasing jobs overseas.

DoD Cannot Be Exempt

National defense is one of those rare government functions that is actually mentioned in the constitution.  Christopher Preble writes of a growing conservative rift over just what and how much our military should be doing overseas. An increasing cohort of conservatives argue that cutting back our overseas interventions and commitments will make our military stronger and the nation safer. 
Of course, cutting spending without a corresponding reduction in commitments is a recipe for overburdening service members taxed by too frequent deployments to far-flung places. But it is already obvious that most of what America spends on its military—often erroneously labeled "national defense"—really defends others who can and should defend themselves.
It's time for advocates of free markets and limited government to recognize that a vast military presence around the world is utterly inconsistent with those ideals. If we agree that government intervention domestically often has unintended, harmful consequences, we should recognize that the same principle holds true internationally, in spades.  (Christopher Preble - WSJ)
The budget battles and government downsizing skirmishes have barely gotten started, so strap it on troops!  We've just begun to fight.


Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Well this "debt commission" has just offered an opinion and not a full report which by the way pissed-off Obama being he wanted NO word until Dec. 1.

But any panel or commission convened about debt is a complete non-starter if it includes any democrat let alone Erskin Bowles.

Silverfiddle said...

Well, these things have to be bipartisan...

The utility of this commission is that they can put all these unpopular ideas out there without fear of recrimination.

Jersey McJones said...

It's a great point about the military, and it's high time conservatives recognize the 800 pound gorilla in the room of government spending. Unlike Social Security and Medicare, which are designated taxes, revenues for the military are by far in a long ways the single greatest discretionary expenditure - and not only the single greatest discretionary expenditure, but the single greatest expenditure period! We spend more on our military than ANYTHING else - that includes SS or Medicare. We spend more on our military than the ENTIRE WORLD COMBINED.

26% of all US federal government expenditures go to the military, with a huge chunk of that feeding a massive, dependent contract sector. Talk about a corporate welfare state! And the return on investment is virtually NIL. America has not faced an existential threat since we tried to do ourselves in almost 150 years ago! The skills learned in the military have less and less relevence in the modern world, one of the reasons veterans have higher than average unemployment rates.

But worst of all, as Ike warned us (though a little late and after he could have done anything about it), once the military becomes a permanent fixture in American life, it will become a dangerous lobby, looking for something to do.

It's time to end the American Military Empire.


ps - as for the myth of "self-sufficiency," American elderly were the poorest in the Western World before SS. If you think cutting it will accomplish anything other than hurting the elderly, you really need to brush up on your history.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Silver,,, I am aware of what they need to do but if recrimination is a concideration then once again it is a non-starter being politicians make-up the commission appointed by a politician.

If anyone were actually serious about the issue, which it is very serious, they would convene economists and not one's of the Keynesian school of thought.

Silverfiddle said...

You're a little cavalier about military spending Jersey. I didn't say end it, just end the foreign adventures, and that will bring costs down.

Also, SS medicare and medicaid DO NOT pay for themselves, as evidenced by out massive debt.

I'll also remind you defense is mentioned in the constitution, social security, medicare and medicaid are not.

Fredd said...

Having served in the U.S. Army myself for 10 (long) years, I have to say that our military presence in Germany has not been needed since 1989. And Korea is a wasteland of wasted money as well. And Turkey. And Italy. And Okinawa. And the UK. And....

Bring those troops home, let NATO handle the North Atlantic (and pony up some damn military presence instead of mooching off of you and me, they seem to think aircraft carrier groups grow on trees).

And once all our boys are home, it wouldn't hurt to start eliminating wasteful behaviors of all of our soldiers. I never, ever saw more stupid uses of assets, and more damage, loss and theft of everything and anything of value (bought and paid for by the taxpayer, and top dollar at that) than when I was on active duty.

Nobody cared, there's plenty more where that came from was the attitude.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The fact that Mr. Olbermann doesn't like this report - that alone is enough to make me want to support it. That, and, yes, it does seem pretty damned balanced, too.

Finntann said...

Cut out all the "non-enumerated" powers the government has taken on and you'd be surprised at what you'd save.

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