Originally Posted by SoCalBronco
See thats the thing. The question in all these proposals are, are they designed to be a temporary fix to get past the fiscal cliff or is it a comprehensive package? The GOP package includes about 800B in revenues without raising rates, but the overall size of the program is only 2.2T. That's not very much. They get there, in part, due to increasing eligibility ages for Medicare over time and also using less generous inflationary formulas for various programs, including SS. That's nice and all, but its nowhere near enough to tackle the program. I think CBO said increasing eligibility ages only nets about 250B over 10 years...not too much, so if this is all they really are askign for, I can see why they wouldn't fork over real concessions on taxes (because they arent asking for a ton in return).
If Dems are willing to accept more aggressive changes than that to SS and Medicare, then they prolly are secretly willing to shelve the over 250k Bush cuts and maybe reorganize the entire tax system Bowles-Simpson style to really raise some serious revenue. If Obama isn't willing to accept something more aggressive (i.e. Ryan-style premium support/vouchers, where some of the costs are shifted onto seniors and they can buy Medicare, but they'll have to put about 6k a year in their own money into their HC), then they aren't going to give the Dems the bigger tax prize they want. It's a negotiation.
There's a way to solve this comprehensively. It involves tremendous political pain for both parties, but conceptually it will solve alot of fiscal problems. Go very aggressive on SS/Med and in return we'll do even better than sunsetting the 250k cuts....a full return to the Clinton tax rates for everyone...raises a ton of revenue (and some haircuts for defense, too). I'm willing to accept a short term recession for this, but it has to have both components. That will make a dramatic difference in our fiscal situation.
I want a grand bargain on the scale of 5T in long term savings.
Why should Social Security -- which are not entitlement programs -- get deep cuts when they aren't the problem? Those two programs are currently $2.6 trillion in the black and have been bankrolling the rest of the government for 30 years.
There are plenty of places we can cut before we start stealing money from people who have been paying into that system all their lives. No better than a CEO that raids the pension fund to increase the stock price of the company.
* Trim defense spending back to 2000 levels (inflation adjusted) over the next 5-10 years: savings of ~$300bn+/YR in current dollars when complete
* Cut all other discretionary spending 2.5%/year for the next 5/10 years: ($~200bn/YR in current dollars when complete)
* Raise revenues to the 60 year historical average (~18% of GDP) instead of the current ~15%. ( ~$450 bn ) (yes, 1/2 of the deficit is currently due to loss of revenue *as a percent of* GDP)
300 + 200 + 450 = $950bn, or the vast bulk of our current deficit, without an "austerity" cliff that will not be in anyone's favor (except the elite). We could talk about timetables, %'s etc but you get the idea.
Of course, I've proposed this 50/50 compromise before and been called a "radial left wing" evil librhul, so *shrug*.
And I'm sure I'll be called a radical pinko commie socialist for proposing that we don't **** over the people who been paying into SS/med all their lives despite the fact those programs are not even remotely part of the current problem.