We're in quite the jam, as a nation.
We currently siphon off a great deal of our annual federal budget to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. We have an impending national infrastructure crisis (power plants, power grid, roads, highways, dams, water management, waste management, natural disaster assistance, etc...). And we are fighting three wars at once. ...Oh... and we have $9trillion in debt, and we're still spending into the red.
So how do we fix it? The two biggest answers is: raise taxes, or cut spending.
First lets talk about cutting spending. If we wanted to make significant reductions, we would logically look towards Social Security and Medicare. However, the problem is that politicians are unwilling to tackle these two programs. It is the political third rail. You and I can talk about reform all day long, but the sad truth is, the politicians will not do a damn thing about in for at least another 10yrs. So we can forget about looking for cuts in this area.
Infrastructure: If we want to continue to have a healthy economy, continued prosperity and growth, and a safe populous... then investing in our national infrastructure is extremely important. Neglect this, and we can expect tax revenues to eventually decline, due to the fact the economy is suffering from our neglecting the internal workings of America! So we can forget about getting substantial cuts here.
The Three Wars: Well, our military is already severely strained. Make any cuts here, and it will literally equate to lives lost. In fact, we really could use some more money. Even if we pulled out of Iraq tomorrow, the financial strain of this war will stick with the military for years to follow. Most of the nation agrees our presence in Afghanistan is important and vital. And the third war, GWOT, is fought both abroad and at home. Neglecting this war will only lead to more attacks at home. So we can forget about getting huge cuts in this area.
....So many of us economic conservatives would love to see the government reign in their spending. But the reality
of the situation, shows us that it is highly unlikely we'll see any cuts.
So if Washington is not willing to cut spending, and we're still spending into the red... the solution would be to increase federal revenues. One of the easiest ways of doing this is raising taxes. But even this will not solve our problem. Th strain tax increases would place on the citizens may not be outweighed by the collective benefits. Raising the cap on the social security tax will not cover the looming disaster. Hell, even eliminating the cap altogether does not come close to solving our problem. Creating hostile tax environments for corporations is not a wise way of attracting new business... or even keeping the businesses you already have. Increasing the tax on the income of Americans is tricky. I agree that the alternative minimum tax ought to be eliminated... but by taxing the rich, we must ask ourselves, at what point do we cross the line of "fair" when taking from these people? They already pay a substantial amount. They already consist of a large portion of our tax dollars, when do we cross the line of "too much"?
Big problems, we must deal with. Personally, I think we need to cut spending... which ought to start with real reforms in both SS
. We ought to start withdrawing from Iraq, as soon as Iraqi forces have reached 50% combat readiness, and we ought to stick part of the war bill to Iraq, and make them repay much of what we have loaned them. I think we need to pull our forces out of Korea and Germany (what's left), and realign those forces back to the US. And I also think it's not totally unfair to ask the American public to pay a little bit more into the system. Families of soldiers sacrifice a lot each day, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the country to sacrifice as well.
And lastly, we really need to scrap the tax code and consider a new approach. Hence my fair tax reference!
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.