Screw the Supercommittee, leave the budget up to the people
November 20, 2011
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It seems likely that the Congressional Supercommittee (that’s annoying to type) will fail, and some thing that this is either inevitable, desirable, or both.
It’s easy to see why the SC will fail – it’s locked in positional negotiation, and in particular, Republican tax pledge signers aren’t willing to give an inch. Republicans, in turn, claim that Democrats are unwilling to give on spending, but I think that’s highly debatable – I haven’t heard of any Democrat signing a “no spending cuts” or even a “no Medicare cuts” pledge. So my question is, why are we leaving it up to these pledge-signing losers to solve the deficit issue when we can do it ourselves?
Bear with me – last year, the New York Times created an application that enabled readers to create their own budget plan. One thing that surprised me was just how easy it was – a few cuts here, a few minor taxes there, and we’re set til 2030. You can view my plan here. Perhaps the most controversial aspect is raising the social security retirement age to 70. Unlike most liberals, I’m not a fan of social security because poor people are less likely to live long enough to collect the social security that they paid into, so it perpetuates income inequality. But if you disagree, there are tons of other not-that-bad choices – like a millionaire’s tax, capping Medicare growth, a national sales tax, etc. – that I passed on. And no proposal on the list even suggests raising taxes higher than they were during the Clinton administration, and that might be another option for consideration.
So my proposal is this – let’s take the pen out of the hand of those bribe-taking assholes in Congress, and put it in the hands of the people. Commission a survey of citizens – online, by mail, whatever, in which they create their own deficit plans similar to the 2010 NYT application. Then, go down the list of the most-chosen elements until there is a balanced budget. Send the Supercommittee on a vacation, and dare any member of Congress to vote against the Citizen’s Plan.
Crisis solved. You’re welcome.