It Is Only A Draft!

First of all–calm down!  It is NOT official…not yet……

By now most Americans have heard all the hullabaloo (the debate not the dance party) over the draft proposals coming out of the Deficit Reduction Commission….right?  The Progressives are up in arms over the proposals for Social Security and Medicare…..the conservs are pretty quiet right now…other than saying the report is a pretty good one when it comes to entitlements…..Reuters seems to have the best analysis of this report…..(since not too many readers actually click onto the links…I have put the meat of the report here for everyone to look at and decide)…….most media outlets are emphasizing that points that they have a problem with……none seem to want the whole draft proposal to be viewed……. so I thought I would try to crap on their parade……

SPENDING CUTS

– Would reduce discretionary spending (programs like defense and law enforcement that are set by Congress each year) in fiscal 2012 to 2010 levels; impose 1 percent cuts in each of the next three fiscal years

– In 2015, defense spending would be $100 billion lower and nondefense spending also $100 billion lower than envisioned in the White House’s current budget scenario

– Eventually bring government spending down to 21 percent of gross domestic product, from its current level of 24 percent of the economy

– Automatic cuts would take effect at the end of each year if Congress exceeds spending caps

– Set up bipartisan committee to eliminate outdated and inefficient programs

– Stretch out budget cycle over two years

– Sample cuts include: freeze pay for federal workers; reduce overseas military bases by one-third; cut federal workforce by 10 percent; slow growth of foreign aid

OVERHAUL TAX CODE

– Would eliminate all of the $1.1 trillion exemptions currently in the tax code, such as the mortgage-interest deduction and the earned-income tax credit

– Lower and simplify individual income-tax rates: 8 percent for those with annual incomes below $70,000; 14 percent for those with incomes up to $210,000; and 23 percent for incomes above that level

– Lower corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 26 percent

– Treat dividends and capital gains as ordinary income

– Set aside $80 billion for deficit reduction

– Gradually raise gas tax by 15 cents starting in 2013 to pay for transportation spending

– Abolish the alternative minimum tax

REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS

– Would pay doctors and other providers less for seeing patients under government programs like Medicare and Medicaid

– Cap damages in malpractice suits

– Require Medicare participants to pay more costs themselves

– Require lower costs for brand-name drugs covered by government programs

– Expand successful cost-containment programs

– Strengthen independent oversight board

– If costs grow more than 1 percent faster than the economy after 2020, require president to propose further cost cuts or a robust public health insurance option

OTHER SAVINGS

– Would reduce farm subsidies by $3 billion per year

– Revamp consumer price index, used to calculate benefit increases, to better reflect actual rate of inflation

– Increase employee contributions to government retirement programs

– Postpone military retirement programs and make them take effect after age 60

SOCIAL SECURITY

– Would revamp the retirement program to ensure its long-term stability, but separately from the deficit reduction effort

– Add minimum benefits for poorest retirees

– Increase benefits for older retirees

– Require more affluent earners to pay more

– Raise the retirement age to 68 in 2050 and 69 in 2075

– Exempt those who work physically demanding jobs; allow them to retire at 62

Thanx to Reuters for this….maybe American media should give it a try…..giving all the facts,  that is……….

Like I said the libs are tearing up the report for the entitlement stuff….but they need to remember that it is a draft and will take 14 or the 18 members to make it official….there will be changes and adjustments…..

To begin with I see where there could be a bit of bi-partisanship in this report….but it will mean give and take and stop all the BS….personally, I do not like the lower corporate tax, but if they are successful at changing ALL the tax code then I will go along with it (for the record, I have been calling for elimination deductions for 20 years and higher wager earners paying more into the SS program)….crappy programs…another good one…..

It is a start….and we need a starting place………if not …we got….NOTHING!

The Shark Is Circling

Oh…that should be the “mama grizzly” is circling….I am talking about our chief protagonist in this conserv political drama….one Sarah Palin….her endorsements in the mid-terms did not fare as well as she had hope and now she has found another thing to moan about….the Constitution is no longer that important….now it is the Federal Reserve and Bernanke…..she spouts:

In Palin’s prepared remarks obtained by The National Review, the former vice presidential candidate said the policy “deeply concern[s] her.”

“If it doesn’t work, what do we do then? Print even more money?” Palin will say.

“What’s the end game here? Where will all this money printing on an unprecedented scale take us? Do we have any guarantees that QE2 won’t be followed by QE3, 4, and 5, until eventually – inevitably – no one will want to buy our debt anymore? What happens if the Fed becomes not just the buyer of last resort, but the buyer of only resort?”

She is a Repub and she will most likely try her toes in the presidential waters come next year….and since she is a Repub there is something that she should be aware of…..

When Bernanke was running for re-confirmation of his post at the Fed…the Repubs could have changed all that……

If you dissect the vote, you find something very interesting: had the Republicans chosen to do so, they could have killed the nomination. The numbers come out 48 Democrat ayes, 22 Republican ayes, 12 Democrat nays, 18 Republican nays. Democrats alone did not constitute a majority of ayes. Thus, if those 22 Republicans had voted nay instead of aye, we’d be looking for a new Fed chair right now.

So maybe instead of chastising the Dems and Bernanke….she should scold her GOP colleagues for they could have prevented this situation altogether if they had shown some balls and voted against Bernanke…….she may be trying to show that there is more to her than a few tag lines that she uses over and over….but this is NOT the place to start your education in the American economic sphere……Sarah, honey…baby steps then move up to the more complicated stuff……

But for once, I agree with her about Bernanke and the Fed…..(pause here to check if Hell is Freezing)

How About A New “Bull Moose Party”? #2

The 2010 mid term elections have shown that the American people are ready for some change in the way that governing is done by our representatives…unfortunately we have little choice on who does that changing of the way it is done……..

Dems are weaklings and the Left is not happy with the way things are going in Washington and across the nation….why not find a new way of doing politics….how about a new “Bull Moose Party”?

Back in 2007 I was involved with M. Kwiatkowski, the admin for Liberal Pride Forum (go to blogroll and visit his discussion forum)…..we (among others)  worked on logo and platform for future political endeavors….with all the uproar in Washington….I think that a Bull Moose Party could get more involved in the upcoming general elections in 2012…..

This from the Liberal Pride Discussion Forum………

The Congressional Progressive Caucus offers the Progressive Promise for all. We believe in government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Our fairness plan is rooted in our core principles. It also embodies national priorities that are consistent with the values, needs, and hopes of all our people, not just the powerful and the privileged. We pledge our unwavering commitment to these legislative priorities and we will not rest until they become law.

1. Fighting for Economic Justice and Security in the U.S. and Global Economies

» To uphold the right to universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare for all.

» To preserve guaranteed Social Security benefits for all Americans, protect private pensions, and require corporate accountability.

» To invest in America and create new jobs in the U.S. by building more affordable housing, re-building America’s schools and physical infrastructure, cleaning up our environment, and improving homeland security.

» To export more American products and not more American jobs and demand fair trade.

» To reaffirm freedom of association and enforce the right to organize.

» To ensure working families can live above the poverty line and with dignity by raising and indexing the minimum wage.

2. Protecting and Preserving Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

» To sunset expiring provisions of the Patriot Act and bring remaining provisions into line with the U. S. Constitution.

» To protect the personal privacy of all Americans from unbridled police powers and unchecked government intrusion.

» To extend the Voting Rights Act and reform our electoral processes.

» To fight corporate consolidation of the media and ensure opportunity for all voices to be heard.

» To ensure enforcement of all legal rights in the workplace.

» To eliminate all forms of discrimination based upon color, race, religion, gender, creed, disability, or sexual orientation.

3. Promoting Global Peace and Security

» To honor and help our overburdened international public servants – both military and civilian.

» To bring U. S. troops home from Iraq as soon as possible.

» To re-build U.S. alliances around the world, restore international respect for American power and influence, and reaffirm our nation’s constructive engagement in the United Nations and other multilateral organizations.

» To enhance international cooperation to reduce the threats posed by nuclear proliferation and weapons of mass destruction.

» To increase efforts to combat hunger and the scourge of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases.

» To encourage debt relief for poor countries and support efforts to reach the UN’s Millennium Goals for Developing Countries.

4. Environmental Protection & Energy Independence

» To free ourselves and our economy from dependence upon imported oil and shift to growing reliance upon renewable energy supplies and technologies, thus creating at least three million new jobs, cleansing our environment, and enhancing our nation’s security.

» To promote environmental justice in affirmation that all people have an inherent right to a healthy environment, clean air, and clean water wherever we live, work, and relax.

» To change incentives in federal tax, procurement, and appropriation policies to:

(A) Speed commercialization of solar, biomass, and wind power generation, while encouraging state and local policy innovation to link clean energy and job creation;

(B) Convert domestic assembly lines to manufacture highly efficient vehicles, enhance global competitiveness of U.S. auto industry, and expand consumer choice;

© Increase investment in construction of “green buildings” and more energy-efficient homes and workplaces;

(D) Link higher energy efficiency standards in appliances to consumer and manufacturing incentives that increase demand for new durable goods and increase investment in U.S. factories;

» To eliminate environmental threat posed by global warming and ensuring that America does our part to advance an effective global problem-solving approach.

» To expand energy-efficient transportation choices by increasing investment in synthesized networks, including bicycle, local bus and rail transit, regional high-speed rail and magnetic levitation rail projects.

» To preserve prudent public interest regulations that encourage sustainable growth and investment, ensure energy diversity and system reliability, protect workers and the environment, reward consumer conservation, and support an expanding marketplace that rewards the commercialization of energy-efficient technologies.

The time has come for the American people, who have lost all confidence in the two political parties they have now to find a new way of doing business of the country….I think that this could very well be the answer that many of us are looking for in these days of confusion…..THINK ABOUT IT!