Budget Debt
The US Government spends more than it takes in just about every year. Here are the budget deficit numbers by year since 1932. If anyone wants to know why we have a budget problem in this country, all you have to do is look at the running debt clock. We are now at $21T in debt.! But, if big numbers alone don't get your attention, then lets put the $21T in perspective, it represents over 100% of GDP. The nation owed $10.6 trillion on Jan. 20, 2009, when President Obama was sworn in, and he doubled it – more than Bush piled up in two terms. There is bipartisan agreement that we cannot sustain this level of debt. There is also bipartisan agreement that we must correct the outflows exceeding inflows that drives the debt higher every second (see debt clock) . Everyone who manages a checkbook has seen this problem before and knows how to correct it - reduce expenses and increase income. Increasing revenues is critical to the solution, but will not have an immediate impact. Reducing expenses is also critical to the solution and can generate immediate impact. It is the only thing in your control instantly! Sequestration and government shutdown revealed that with immediate impacts in 2012 & 2013. Everything else we here about this subject beyond these two facts is just noise and should be ignored. The political left and right cannot agree on how to correct this problem. The left solution to our problem is to increase taxes on the rich to increase income. Currently the top 20% of income earners pays 80% of the federal tax burden. So do we want them to pay 100%? 110%? 120%? Maybe just write the check every year for the entire cost of government, whatever it is? Clearly this is not a solution. The right wants us to reduce spending and taxes, which was also a poor solution in a recessionary economy, but in a growing economy in 2017 has promise. But, the truth is we must do both (reduce expenses and increase income), we must do it now and it will not be easy. All the political hot air outside these two facts is simply a distraction from the difficult but obvious answer. Trump's tax law in Dec 2017 had an economic stimulation effect. A growing economy will usually increase income (tax revenues for the government) over the 10 years, but not immediately. The Trump tax reform due to money overseas that will be returning home, will have immediate positive revenue impacts. His military defense spending will have a negative national debt impact. To immediately begin to impact our budget deficit and debt problem whiling anticipating increased revenues we also must immediately and dramatically cut spending. That MUST include discretionary spending AND entitlements (Social Security, Medicare & Obamacare) which represent 90% of the problem. The left will say you are hurting education, the homeless, healthcare of all Americans, the elderly and on and on. The right will shout "we are already taxed enough". All This whining MUST be ignored. No one wants to hurt themselves, their families or their neighbors We have no choice but to intelligently make these difficult decisions while minimizing the pain. But there will be pain. And our representatives MUST ACT NOW. It is a dereliction of duty if they do not. The 2 year budget passed Feb 2018 does not do this. It was a purely bi-partisan negotiation (which is good) but gives everything to everyone and makes no tough decisions on spending. Below you can watch the ongoing debate on this critical issue. And hopefully see the solution we need develop.

Oval Office Pantomime, we need more!

12/11/18
from The Gray Area:
12/11/18:

As stated in the WSJ article below, today's negotiation in the Oval Office with Trump, Pence(no comment), Pelosi & Schumer was a media "melodrama".

A must watch event as far as I'm concerned. Primarily because you never see this type of discussion in real time. You only see what the media wants you to see or the politicians say happened in these sessions. And, of course, we know these are all spin. Therefore, I think this is great and would love to see more.

Interesting, too, that Pelosi talking about congressional transparency wanted the cameras to leave the room for this discussion. Hypocrisy which is every day with today's Democrats.

Immediately after the meeting, Pelosi and Schumer go out to the media to start the spin on what we already saw! But, instead of talking about the issues, they start slamming Trump for 'a temper tantrum', or Pelosi having to the be 'the mom in the room'. And, the media lets them get away with it.

We need more of this type of access. Recognizing some discussions involving secret or security issues need not be public, but others whenever possible. It shines a light on issues and discussions that provides perspective you just don't get from the media anymore.

from The Wall Street Journal,
12/11/18:

Shutdown melodrama: Act 1, Scene 1: Pelosi and Schumer enter.

Live theater endures because it is entertaining. If Tuesday’s “meeting” in the Oval Office between President Trump and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi is what the world of politics has to look forward to next year, they might as well take their act to Broadway. Who could not have been entertained by the spectacle of the U.S. President jousting over responsibility for government shutdowns with the villainous Senate Minority Leader? Whether Mr. Trump was merely following his script or erupted at Mr. Schumer’s goading, the President abruptly took political ownership of shutting down the government next week over funding for his border wall.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” the President said, adding with a flourish, “I will take the mantle, I will be the one to shut it down.” A secondary highlight of the show was Mr. Trump saying of Speaker-to-be-Pelosi: “Nancy’s in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now,” and Mrs. Pelosi replying that she didn’t need the President’s characterization of her strength. What was accomplished? Nothing. Let us be clear about the point of this political pantomime. The disagreement among the President, Chuck and Nancy is over how much money is to be included in the government spending bill to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. The House-passed Republican bill includes $5 billion for the wall, while Mr. Schumer says Senate Democrats won’t go beyond $1.6 billion. Somewhere inside this spat lies the serious issue of U.S. immigration. Mr. Trump has said repeatedly that immigration policy is a broken disgrace, and he is right to say so. The family separations that took place last July in Texas and the recent Central American caravan attempt to bust across the border make that clear. As startling is the fact that a compromise on immigration was at hand this past June that included $23.4 billion for border security, including the wall. That House compromise bill went down to overwhelming defeat beneath the weight of a Republican Party feuding over the details.

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