All right, The Huffigton Post
presents ideas to trim without new income taxes? Since you invited me to take a look, I did. Forgive me if I'm
out of order.
Methods 9 and 10 don't raise the income tax, but they raise other taxes. Taxing most of the energy produced in the country and every financial
transaction. When you tax something you discourage it. Is that what we want here? This would have to discourage, at least to some extent, inestment
in our country, from whatever source. And it opens new things to tax, perhaps starting at a low level, but when has government not raised a tax.
Method 4, raise taxes on offshore entities. It's a way to raise money from the rich. It hasn't been a very successful idea yet, but who knows?
But still, it's just another new tax on the rich.
Method 7, print fewer bills. The article indicates this would save $150 million a year. Yes that amounts to a lot for you and me, but for the
government? It's nothing.
Method 2, legalize drugs. That means all drugs, because the savings claimed come from investigating, etc. You would still need a bunch of that for
investigating harder drugs. Legalize and tax drugs? Is that a political possibility before the fiscal cliff, or even shortly thereafter? Hardly.
This gets filed in the "maybe some day" file.
Method 1, don't put so many people in jail. First, they're including things, like the city and county jails, in figuring their savings. That
doesn't affect the affect the fiscal cliff. Further, in 2010, there were 207,000 in Federal facilities, and 1,311,000 in State and Local facilities.
Changing the jail system will have a small effect on the federal budget. Certaily not the $68 billion claimed. For further perspective 5,000,000
people are already on probation or parole (end of 2009). The savings to the Feds by putting a few more on monitored release will be a small saving,
Method 6, increase inflation. Multiple problems here. First, it wouldn't work very quickly. Second, it makes the dollar less valuable, not only to
us, but to the rest of the world. As the article states:
Inflation is by no means a perfect remedy: it's a stealth cut to workers' wages.
And as far as getting rid of the Fed, the article assures us that the Fed will keep inflation at low levels, so if we choose this option, the Fed has
to stay. Third, the claimed benefit is silly.
By effectively reducing monthly bills, moderate inflation could actually put more money in the
pockets of these homeowners to spend elsewhere, thus stimulating the economy.
Have they forgotten that prices would rise as well, leaving no net
benefit to the economy?
Method 5, get rid of government contractors. Forgive me, the government is going to do things cheaper and more efficiently? Why not just build up
the Inspectors General to look harder for fraud. Will they really eliminate contracts with Boeing, or other major manufacturers and do it themselves?
Where? This of course means layoffs all over the place, while increasing the number of federal employees, a good thing?
Method 3, let the government set prices for prescription drugs used by Medicare. The idea of "negotiation" seems clearly false to me. When the
government "advises" or "suggests" we know the outcome. What will cutting the income do to those companies? Maybe they can afford it now, but
five years from now? What will that do to their R&D activities? We don't know. Can we phase this in a little at a time to find out?
Method 8, change the treatment of illegals from jail to monitoring. That's already been covered in the prison suggestion. With the change in
policies already going into effect, nobody knows how many people will be involved.
Anyway, just some quick thoughts.