Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chuck Schumer has a letter for me to send to my Congressperson

Here it is:
As an American, I want my representatives in Congress to avoid a government shutdown. That means finding bipartisan compromise.

But bipartisan compromise will not be found in domestic discretionary spending cuts alone.

We need to scour all parts of the budget that contribute to the deficit, not just the parts of the budget that some of us don't like. We need to reset the budget debate to look at the changes we can make that will have the biggest impact on the deficit.

That means looking at things like military spending, agriculture subsidies, and revenue raisers.

Please, don't shut down our government because the debate over the budget got stuck in a rut. Reset it.

Well, this is almost as misguided as a typical Republican's spiel about the deficit. It's nice he wants to also look at military spending, agricultural subsidies, etc. But more to the point (repeat after me): the deficit is not a problem. So, I replaced his idiocy with my own take on the "deficit problem." Here it is. I sent it to Chris Gibson, my Congressperson, and to my Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Here's hoping they see the light.

The budget deficit, resulting from the 1. Bush tax cuts, 2. The Bush wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and 3. the Great Recession, have nothing to do with discretionary spending, or, for the most part, 'entitlements.' Looking forward, Medicare and Medicaid spending will be a problem, but that is because of the continuing growth of health care costs. Fixing entitlements means fixing our broken health care system. And fixing our health care system does not mean more of the same old fix: markets. They don't work for health care.

It's outrageous that we have continued the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, who pay much less in taxes as a percentage of their income than ordinary Americans (ALL of whose income is subject to payroll taxes), yet now we want to cut spending? During a very weak recovery? Because the deficit is our problem? Really? There's only one word for this (which I did not learn as I earned my doctorate in economics, but is entirely appropriate): bullshit.

Please, don't shut down our government because the debate over the budget got stuck in a rut. Reset it.
Teh Stupid! It burns!!!!
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