Folks, see above links—-
With the fiscal cliff looming, THIS is what occupies Congress’ time? Yes, these important pieces of bipartisan garbage managed to find their way onto the floor for votes, but we can’t get anything out of Congress or the White House except blame-shifting and can-kicking on issues that matter.
Here’s my quick solution to the fiscal cliff. On the spending side, keep negotiating on substantive cuts to social security, medicare, and medicaid to prevent future insolvency. The President doesn’t have to run for re-election again, so perhaps he should show some leadership, annoy his base a little for the good of the nation, and agree to some real reforms.
On the taxing side, I’ve often said that revenues have to be on the table for a balanced solution (this is the Reasonable Republican, after all). But let’s caveat those tax rises such that they prevent those revenues from being diverted to legislators’ pet projects like bridges to nowhere or rain forest museums in Iowa. Perhaps we agree on a 1% general flat tax on all Americans for a period of 5 years that goes STRICTLY toward servicing the national debt.
We kill three birds with one stone, hear me out. We show the world we are serious about keeping our books in order (thus calming markets and ensuring future borrowing will continue at low interest rates), we get to experiment with a flat tax (the fairest and least oppressive form of taxation, in my opinion), and we avoid the “classism” being fomented by the current debate on who should see their taxes rise (couples making $250K, singles making $200K, etc). EVERYONE should have skin in the game because EVERYONE is responsible for electing folks so awful at simple math.
One more point. Despite the lackluster job all agree Congress is doing, our President has decided that it warrants a pay raise. How nice. Happy New Year, friends.