Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bush's Budget

In an election year, it appears to be dead on arrival (Administration touts '07 budget). Not only are the Democrats criticizing the proposal, so are many Republicans. Most of the cuts are unlikely to be actually enacted.

Cuts in Medicare, in addition to the ones already passed are unlikely (New York Health Care Industry Says It Faces $1.2 Billion in Cutbacks Under Bush Plan ). Even the vets are going to get hit (Veterans, lawmaker join to fight plan to raise health care fees). His energy policy is lacking and counter productive to his State of the Union address (Energy gaps seen in Bush's budget). His back door approach to dropping Social Security will be a no go (Bush's Social Security Sleight of Hand). And the long run affects of his tax cuts will leave us in dire straits in the future (Getting Past Budget Blab).

Bush has ignored the fact that many of his cuts have been dropped in the past (Many Proposed Cuts Have Met Limited Success in the Past), and will probably have the same amount of success this time around.

This will all play out soon, and most of it will not ever be introduced to the house floor.


Aaron said...

We need to prepare for the Baby Boomers and start cutting back on government spending. I think Bush’s budget did not go far enough in trimming government coffers.

In about 10 - 15 years, there will be no way that we can afford to pay for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

We could radically increase taxes. However, this will cripple future generations. We can increase the budget deficit. But it will lead to serious systemic risks to our economy. We should reduce benefits promised during a previous era of prosperity in our country. Of course, we can try a combination of all three, but we would be left with a situation akin to eurosclerosis.

We must make the painful choice of reducing benefits and reshaping Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to care for the very neediest in our country. It will be hard, but the demographic trend is inexorable.

Reality shouts that this is not a Republican or Democrat issue.

Dingo said...

thank you for your comments. I agree that things need to be done to address the issues and the deficit spending, but as you said, we need to take care of the neediest and cutting the programs doesn't do that.

There are many ways that we can still pay out what we promised to the future retirees without cutting benefits. Raising the cap on the level at which no more is contributed (currently $90,000 a year). Not phasing out the estate tax on billionaires who have never paid a cent of tax on the accrued interest of their fortunes. Stop subsidizing the oil and gas industry, etc, etc, etc.

Cutting education funding might help reduce the budget in the short run, but does nothing to help build a thriving economy in the future. Cutting Medicaid will only push the costs onto the local governments and raise your property taxes.

What people will have to realize is that we will end up paying for these programs one way or another. Bush's plan places the burden more on the middle class.

tommy said...

The programs, all of them, are definded benefit programs subject to the problems those programs have had.

In short they are woefully underfunded, and most likely beyond the point of saving, it's just a question of when we recognize it and how we extricate ourselves from it.

Taxes aren't really the problem or the solution, revenues are high enough, it's the inability of the government and the voting public to restrain themselves that is the problem. Unfortunately that is a bipartisan problem.