I am a fiscal conservative and a Republican elected official in Georgia. As such, I believe that we need to balance the budget, reduce the deficit and raise the debt ceiling.
Here is how: cut military spending, which is out of control and has doubled in the last 10 years; repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which have not created jobs in the past decade; tax all earned income for Social Security, not up to $106,800 like we do now; slash corporate welfare, such as government payments to oil companies and corporate farms; shrink the federal government work force and lower its pay scale; and provide end-of-life counseling to eliminate medically unnecessary care under Medicare.
According to a recent Pew Survey, 60 percent of Americans say it is more important to keep Medicare and Social Security benefits as they are vs. cutting the deficit. Slashing these entitlement programs, which provide a middle-class safety net, is not supported by taxpayers -- and politicians advocating this approach will pay for it at the polls.
(The writer is a Jasper County commissioner.)