I admit that I spend way too much time trying to catch every little tidbit that comes over the political airways. It’s time consuming but Congress reminds me of my child rearing years. Remember when the kids always brought us their side of the story? Fortunately, we remembered when we used to do that, so we asked them go call their brother, so we could hear the other side. That's what happening in Washington, they have meetings and then immediately after the meetings, they all rush to the microphones to tell us their version of the facts.
I'm at a point where I can give you the talking points of both sides, verbatim. That only makes me more frustrated than the average person. I understand the fiscal conservatives think the problem we have is spending and collecting more revenues is like giving an alcoholic more booze. I do not argue that we spend more than we collect, so spending should be a priority, but a household budget is not equivalent to a national budget. I separate from the fiscal conservative when they want to privatize what should be public and when they don’t want to share the sacrifice.
Even though I'm a dye in the wool liberal democrat, I know that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid have to be reformed or it will be impossible to fund them without jeopardizing, the full faith and credit of the United States government. Those entitlements do not come up for a vote every year because, as a name implies "they are entitlements." That's not to say that we should let the republicans cut benefits without taxing the top 2% or coming up with some sort of means testing or tax increases. I don't believe a 1% hike equally distributed between Social Security and Medical payroll taxes would be too big of a burden, after the economy recovers. The president has now said that he open to "means testing" on Medicare. I don't see why it can't be used for Social Security?
Present Obama's bipartisan commission on reducing the debt would phase out the Earned Income Credit but the commission did not garner enough votes to ever be enacted. That's a safety net program that should be gradually reduced and eventually eliminated. It's not so much a monetary burden but it infuriates a lot of middle class conservatives who see it as a handout. This program was meant to ease the burden on low income taxpayers while they were trying to move up to a bracket where they could no longer have to receive EITC. I think that I would hate to see it eliminated it from the single moms having to pay child care, housing, utilities, and other bills while working at entry level wages. I think if we were to amend it like we did welfare; we wouldn't have to repeal it all together. We could give the EITC a three year shelf life for any recipient. It's amazing what people can do in that 11th hour.
I'm rather happy submitting my blogs to the VA, now that a couple posters have decided to go out on their own, thereby leaving me alone. I don't want to discuss fantasy or revisionist history because it's never ending and unproductive. I'm glad they have a couple people who willing to engage with them. Maybe now they will continue to stay away. A few conservatives have shown me the error of my ways and I look forward to the days when we can have a civil debate to just put out our thoughts out on the table, not expecting people to eat the whole meal, just sample it; eat your peas...:-)