As August Nears, Prepare for Weeping and Hand Wringing
As August Nears, Prepare for Weeping and Hand Wringing

As August Nears, Prepare for Weeping and Hand Wringing

I suspect that we will have some all night Congressional sessions as the debt ceiling crisis gets closer.  There are no easy answers but Congress has to stop spending money it does not have.  There will be no happy people in our country as cuts have to be made across the board.  I noted below a few recent articles that are starting to appear that hint at some of the key issues:

Medicare Cuts: Broad Opposition to Republicans in the Debt Debate – Americans strongly reject Medicare cuts and broadly support higher taxes on the wealthy.  So who do you think will pay – yep, the Middle Class.  We cannot continue to absorb the cost of the current Medicare program without serious changes to its structure.

AARP:  dropping long standing opposition to cutting Social Security benefits.   Again, no one will be happy, but Social Security needs to be revised.  True, Social Security did not cause the current deficit and shouldn’t be used to fix the problem, but nevertheless it is the largest entitlement program in the Federal budget.

Bill cuts billions from 2012 Defense budget – The numbers are all over the map but the Defense budget needs to be trimmed by many billions of dollars and the cuts need to come immediately.  Most of the Department of Defense budget is in billions folks, not millions.  Nothing they consider is much under a billion dollars.  Everyone is going to have to make a sacrifice.  How about closing a few hundred of those 750 military bases overseas?

GOP lawmakers unveil bill to reduce government workforce – a trio of Republicans unveiled a bill that would allow hiring of one new federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job.  Also recommended was a continued freeze on federal pay through 2015.  The Office of Personnel Management suggested that approximately 400,000 federal employees are currently eligible for retirement.  What I find interesting is the timing of this suggestion.  Why was it not made months or years ago.  Why do we have to have a pending government default to bring these types of issues to the forefront?  There is no possibility that the federal workforce is slightly overstaffed is there?

If Mr. Obama has any political future, this is his time to step up the plate and make it happen.  If Mr. Obama waffles and tries to pay hardball, we will have the most serious financial crisis in the history of the United States.  Yes, there will have to be compromises, but the U.S. mortgage payment is due August third and we cannot put it on the VISA.

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Written by
Donald Wittmer