Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Proverbs for Economic Sanity

Watching the current Debt Crisis debate is tortuous for any thoughtful person. Yes, there are real differences in how Democrats and Republican want to spend money - BUT there should be no differences on two goals - a balanced budget and a growing economy. What we have is political posturing, magical thinking and a contempt for Economics 101 and the good faith of the American people. In the tradition of King Solomon, considered the wisest man of his day (a claim I will not make!), I offer some proverbs to solve our current crisis:

Create a budget based on the real revenue of the previous year. If there is more money, decide ahead of time where it goes; if less, have the cuts ready.

We cannot be a warfare and welfare state. Declare victory, bring our troops home and have forces ready to strike at global terror threats from secure bases on land and sea.

Stop double and triple taxing the hard-earned wealth of Americans, here or abroad. No death taxes and lower the rate for foreign profits that have already been taxed overseas.

Begin a process of removing the thousands of agricultural subsidies that benefit huge agribusinesses and are no longer needed.

Eliminate the Department of Education.

Transform HUD and other agencies into efficient, decentralized catalysts for help and transformation instead of career paths for social science majors.

Cut defense spending and increase support for veterans. One less bomber means help for thousands of vets and less pork for Congress to give away.

Privatize all public pensions, with excellent regulations through the SEC and other agencies. Eliminate the special retirement benefits for elected federal officials and have them held to the same economic standards as all citizens.

Public employee unions should be able to bargain, but not hold taxpayers hostage to benefits they cannot afford. Bring all teachers and workers into Social Security and offer excellent private plans - just like the rest of the country.

Hold all government agencies accountable for best practices and have private-sector leaders offer insights on efficient methods and ethics.

Transform the IRS with a complete simplification of the tax code, and consider alternative ways of raising revenue.

Invigorate private/public partnerships for all kinds of infrastructure, with high standards, but honest bidding processes and a cap on "change orders" and lawsuits.

Stop sending tax dollars to colleges and universities for frivolous programs and lower the cost of education by demanding that teachers teach and students work.

Above all, create a balanced-budget process (with or without a Constitutional Amendment) that will unleash creativity and economic growth and allow us to start repaying our debt!