Is the fiscal mess too complicated? - The Explorer: Letters To Editor

Is the fiscal mess too complicated?

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Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 4:00 am

Everyone agrees that the U.S. Government is too large, costly, inefficient and needs to be reigned in. But, the problem grows and becomes more acute as new laws, policies, and regulations are passed that burden citizens with new taxes and cut-backs in national defense and other vital functions. 

The nation is at a critical tipping point. If politicians persist in ignoring their duty to manage America’s fiscal affairs responsibly, the nation that you and I love may be lost forever. America can again become a powerful, vibrant and fiscally secure nation if the 2014-midterm elections rids Congress of greedy, self-serving, and entrenched life-long members amassing a fortune and being treated like royalty. Politicians who have “served” 15 to 30 years must be replaced with new members who are fiscally responsible and committed to reforming how Congress functions.

The fiscal mess is known and bemoaned in D.C., but ignored. They’re not about to admit that they voted for legislation that could cause an economic collapse. Having contributed to making matters worse, representatives bury their heads in sand hoping that a magical solution will ease their conscience. Reforms to solve the nation’s fiscal problems will not come from those who attend each session with a “business as usual” attitude.

Partisan gridlock requires a simple and direct approach to cut spending that avoids endless bickering. For example, Congress could pass budgets that cap spending and reduces annual budgets 2-5 percent a year for five years. Small increments spanning several years would allow for transition to new funding levels with minimum disruption. Heads of departments, agencies, etc., could be charged with focusing on cutting waste, duplication, and outdated programs. This approach could also be applied to cutting foreign aid, subsidies, etc., as follows:

• Reduce the cost of government, including the White House and Congress 2-5 percent a year for five years and 2-3 percent the next five years. 

• Reduce funds for non-essential entities, e.g., PBS, NPR, CPB, AMTRAK, Endowment of the Arts, etc., 20 percent a year for five years. 

• Reduce subsidies 10 percent a year for 10 years. 

• Reduce foreign aid 10 percent a year for 10 years. 

• Prohibit “earmarks” and “loop holes” in budgets and appropriations bills. 6. Reduce the Congressional travel budget 10 percent a year for five years. 

• Amend the U.S. Constitution to read: Annual federal budgets and appropriation bills shall not be exceeded.

Too simple? That’s what’s needed to solve problems too complicated for entrenched bureaucrats in our nation’s capital to fix. This approach eliminates fierce and heated opposition that emerges when cuts are proposed within members’ districts. Opposition by members would be eliminated and gridlock would disappear.

If eligible to vote, but not registered, do so to make the 2014 midterm elections historic by outing career politicians lacking a commitment to resolve our nation’s precarious fiscal affairs. Reforms in Congress are needed if we are to enjoy living in a stable and safe nation. 

 

Tony Greco,

Oro Valley,

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