Ganging up on the deficit

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If you could rescue the country and resuscitate Congress at the same time, why wouldn’t you?

That’s exactly what a bipartisan group of congressmen and senators is attempting, in campaigning – together – to get congressional leaders to “go big” and cut the nation’s deficit more than they’re supposed to.

A so-called “super committee” of 12 House and Senate members is meeting to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years before Nov. 23 – when cuts would become automatic and indiscriminate. The “Gang of 145” want deficit reduction of $4 trillion.

Pray the committee listens to the 100 House members and 45 senators.

We’ve reached a very real tipping point in American history. If the super committee doesn’t muster at least $1.2 trillion, the failure will resonate far, far beyond the Pentagon and other federal agencies, and even beyond recipients of Social Securty, Medicare and Medicaid. The psychological ripples will likely become a tsunami of gloom in the financial markets – threatening to sink the American economy even deeper into recession or worse.

If, on the other hand, the super committee “goes big” and listens to the Gang of 145 and cuts $4 trillion from the deficit instead of $1.2 trillion, the markets will see new rays of hope that Congress can indeed function and allow the private sector to do the same.

If the committee manages to cut the $1.2 trillion their colleagues have asked them to, the markets may tick up a bit, but let’s be real: Cutting $1.2 trillion over 10 years – when we currently borrow that much in a single year – won’t be anything to write home about.

Now, we happen to think that the deficit reduction, however much it ends up being, ought to be pure spending cuts – not tax increases. This is no time to take more money out of the private sector. And remember: Whatever the government spends is simply overhead: The wealth has to be created in the private sector before the government siphons it off.

Moreover, as the CEO of McDonald’s, Jim Skinner, notes, “In order to create jobs in America, you’re going to have to cut taxes … particularly in the business community. We pay some of the highest [corporate] taxes around the world. There needs to be some leveling.”

In order to get Democratic support, there may have to be new revenues in the mix. We would argue that cutting taxes and spending and shrinking government would, indeed, result in higher revenues flowing to government coffers from a more robust private sector. But more revenues could also be realized by closing loopholes and ending exemptions.

As long as the bulk of savings – say, 80 to 90 percent – is from spending cuts, Republicans should jump at the chance to go big on deficit reduction.

If the super committee fails to even get to $1.2 trillion, as Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., says, it would be devastating to the country and its economy.

And, adds Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, “who is going to suffer the most whenever the economy goes down? It’s those who are less well off.”

In short, it’s in every American’s interest that Congress finally find some common ground. We hope Democrats will let go of their empty, divisive and unproductive populist rhetoric to punish the rich. In return, Republicans should be open to modest changes in the tax code that, without increasing tax rates, could grow government revenues some.

The numbers alone tell you that spending cuts must constitute the vast majority of deficit reduction. Historically, the federal government has been about 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product; today, its revenues are at 15 percent, while spending is at 25 percent. Clearly, there’s more room to cut spending than to increase taxes.

It’s time to get this done. And for the sake of our economy and our children’s future, it’s time to go big.

Comments (24) Add comment
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shrimp for breakfast
5422
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shrimp for breakfast 11/08/11 - 12:09 am
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I'd be happy if if Congress

I'd be happy if if Congress could do something, anything to at least get the country going in the right direction. It just gets worse every year. Until the government stops spending more than it makes we're destined to more of the same and worse.

Riverman1
82135
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Riverman1 11/08/11 - 06:44 am
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The Democrats have admitted

The Democrats have admitted now is not a good time to raise taxes on the wealthy as they want. So that makes you wonder why they believe it's a good idea ANYTIME if increased taxes are not good for the country?

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/08/11 - 06:50 am
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2010 revenue/GDP= 14.86%, the

2010 revenue/GDP= 14.86%, the LOWEST since 1943.

Rhetor
995
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Rhetor 11/08/11 - 07:19 am
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This is exactly why nothing

This is exactly why nothing gets done in Congress. The radical right-wing lunatics won't accept the most obviously necessary tax increases. The extreme part of the left wing won't accept spending cuts. ACES, this is no longer a primitive agricultural society. We need to spend tons of money on sophisticated national defense. We need to pay for it. Social Security and Medicare need to be adjusted, but they are a needed part of our social fabric today. We need to pay for them. A judicious combination of spending cuts and tax increases, and not a precipitous destruction of the US government's basic functions, is absolutely necessary. This right-wing dogma--whose math is every bit as fuzzy as the left-wing's--just doesn't cut it. Both sides need to deal with reality and to reach a compromise. By rejecting all thought of compromise, this editorial merely encourages more intransigent behavior by our nation's leaders.

JRE
62
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JRE 11/08/11 - 07:28 am
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Both Congress and this

Both Congress and this editorial are not addressing how serious a problem we have. We are running deficits of 1.4 trillion per year and Congress wants to cut 1.2 trillion over 10 years and the editorial considers cutting 4 trillion over 10 years going big. We are going to have to face up to how serious a problem we have and it will take measures much bigger than those propsed. The deficit reduction committee proposed cuts that would have reduced the deficit 4 trillion and was rejected by BOTH parties and didn't even make it out of committee for discussion.

robaroo
717
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robaroo 11/08/11 - 07:43 am
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Personally, I like the idea

Personally, I like the idea of automatic spending cuts and tax increases. The Republicans can claim they didn't vote for any increase. The Democrats can claim they didn't vote to reduce anybody's programs. Meanwhile, responsible adjustments are made to the budget and we don't wind up in Greece's situation.

DuhJudge
206
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DuhJudge 11/08/11 - 08:26 am
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The argument to stop the

The argument to stop the spending because it will be burden for our children is funny to me. How many school taxes are promoted with signs saying "For the Children." I see nothing that will be going away because we are all addicted to deficit spending. The value of your investment portfolio is not going to change positively when the government is the largest employer, creator of wealth, and consumer and stops deficit spending. How will that help? How many more people would you be competing with for your job if the government layed everyone off? How will you count on home appreciation when so many will be for sale? Raise taxes??? Cut spending??? Trust Congress to make the right choices??? What is everyone smoking?

Chillen
17
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Chillen 11/08/11 - 10:18 am
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I don't believe the "super"

I don't believe the "super" committee will get the job done. There is one group of individuals in this nation who believe that government should be small and un-intrusive. The other group believes that government's reach should be far, long & deep. They believe that govt should plunder from one group to give to another.

They will never, ever meet in the middle.

I want cuts here and now. Forget this 10 years down the road bull crap. Future administrations & Congresses could easily override or ignore those suggestions.

We must get our federal government out of the way & under control in order for America to survive.

justthefacts
21287
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justthefacts 11/08/11 - 10:33 am
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Let's say, You come home from

Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood.... and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings. What do you think you should do???? Raise the ceilings, or pump out the mess.

seenitB4
85134
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seenitB4 11/08/11 - 10:48 am
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jtf...I would have to

jtf...I would have to move..the smell would never go away...:)

harley_52
22934
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harley_52 11/08/11 - 11:13 am
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jkustthefacts asked "What do

jkustthefacts asked "What do you think you should do???? Raise the ceilings, or pump out the mess."

More info is needed.

Who am I?

If I'm a Conservative, I say fix the blockage and pump out the mess.

I'f I'm a liberal I deny there's a back-up, tell you it's just your imagination, claim it's been there all along, blame it on George W. Bush, and claim it is all the fault of the wall street bankers. Then smoke a little dope, throw urine and blood around, defecate on a police car, and look for a child to molest.

harley_52
22934
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harley_52 11/08/11 - 11:26 am
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The reason the "Super

The reason the "Super Committee" won't work is that they were empaneled to solve a specific task, when the problem is an entire philosophy.

The problem isn't just a particular budget excess it's the entire notion of budgeting and spending.

Round hole, square peg thingie.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/08/11 - 11:30 am
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I just wish the liberals

I just wish the liberals would admit it’s all their fault and conservatives are completely blameless; liberals need to follow the conservative example and take responsibility for their actions.

harley_52
22934
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harley_52 11/08/11 - 11:38 am
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Indeed.

Indeed.

shrimp for breakfast
5422
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shrimp for breakfast 11/08/11 - 01:39 pm
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Very good

Very good comments!!!
Chillen, Justthefacts,Harley...Everybody!
I love the sewer analogy!

faithson
5133
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faithson 11/08/11 - 04:21 pm
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"I say fix the blockage and

"I say fix the blockage and pump out the mess." I could not say it any better when it comes to the intransigence of neo-conservatives in the halls of Congress. Thanks harley.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 11/08/11 - 04:41 pm
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The blockage being obama and

The blockage being obama and the mess being his administration along with reid & pelosi? If so, then I totally agree faithson.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 11/08/11 - 05:00 pm
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If the Republicans ruled all

If the Republicans ruled all three branches and voted to put the other 49.74% in jail, everything would be solved.

socks99
250
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socks99 11/08/11 - 05:05 pm
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Just as soon as the 'bond

Just as soon as the 'bond vigilantes' are through with the EU debt carcasses, they'll wing-in to the United States where the whale-size body of at least $13 Trillion in debt offers up a bloated and odoriferous feast!

Once this begins, the interest on U.S. debt will be bid-up, and like the other debtors the U.S. will face a clear choice between default and much higher taxes and austere cuts in spending.

As surely as the sun sets everyday, these things can be depended on.

Why bother, now, urging our 'leaders' to cut the fat they all so depend on?

When the IMF and other creditor nations come calling, U.S. citizens should follow Greece's lead and be sure to destroy the reputations and careers of as many national leaders as they can manage! Perhaps we can all dream of a day when all members of Congress and the President agree to resign, 'for the good of the nation!'

faithson
5133
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faithson 11/08/11 - 05:24 pm
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Wow 99 that is some pretty

Wow 99 that is some pretty electric stuff your puttin' out... Just read 'Boomerang", if we don't think it can happen here we are crazy. We need too follow the instructs of the Earskin/Simpson'committee' and at least we could put off the inevitable for a few more years. Who know's maybe we could come up with some solutions to avoid a meltdown if we applied ourselves. Sink or Swim, I have always been an eternal optimist and know we can 'make it work' if all concerned will find common ground.

faithson
5133
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faithson 11/08/11 - 05:30 pm
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0
No Chillen, I meant what I

No Chillen, I meant what I said... the neo-conseratives who have marginalized the Republican fiscal conservative values our country needs right now. Get out of the social control business and put the countries fiscal house in order as is their perview.

allhans
23522
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allhans 11/08/11 - 06:08 pm
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0
socks99
250
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socks99 11/08/11 - 05:49 pm
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Come to think of it, the U.S.

Come to think of it, the U.S. debt crisis is analogous to the situation in the James Bond movie when the secret agent is struggling to disable the nuclear bomb. Just as the Congress sits down to work, they inadvertently trip an alarm that causes the 'countdown-to-detonation' clock to double in speed! That's exactly like the situation the U.S. now faces with regard to its own 'debt bomb!'

faithson
5133
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faithson 11/08/11 - 05:56 pm
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I love the hero and always

I love the hero and always cheer hard in those moments in Sport where a guy can be a 'Hero'.. That walk off home run in the series is case in point. Hopin' that 007 shows up in time but who knows.

rmwhitley
5542
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rmwhitley 11/08/11 - 08:03 pm
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A "super committee" from 535
Unpublished

A "super committee" from 535 of the most disgusting humans residing in washington, d.c. patty murray ( princess socialist), john kerry (if he ever shows up for a roll call vote) max baucus (follows the massa with his roll of toilet paper) and that bevy of philanthropists ( our moola, not theirs) could care less about anything but their re-election to the exclusive boys and girls club. I trust jerry sandusky more than anyone of them and if he is indeed guilty should be castrated, fed his own "oysters" and left to rot. Have a wonderful day!

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