Sunday, July 31, 2011

On the debt limit

The fight over the debt limit is infuriating for both sides of the political fence. However, both parties are being unreasonable. There are a number of long term discussions that need to take place on the national level, so I think a short term increase is the ideal solution right now.

The discussion needs to include:

1.)  What exactly the role of the Federal government should be. Since everything is paid for by taxation, what exact responsibilities should the government be willing to undertake with the public understanding that those roles, necessary as they may be, will have the end result of both taking the labor away from others and imprisoning people who can't/won't pay their taxes. Are we willing to confiscate a single mother's income to fund art? Are we as a people willing to have citizens go to prison for nonpayment of taxes to provide student loans?

2.)  Healthcare. The current system isn't anywhere close to ideal in the United States. Again, if the Federal government is going to be in the healthcare business, where are the lines drawn?  Are we going to take money from young workers to fund heart transplants for 80 year olds?

3.) Defense. We aren't the world's policeman, and we need to cut back military expenditures, so what is on the table?

Ideally, any plan presented needs to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, so there are going to have to be cuts to plenty of programs. Both sides of the aisle need to calmly have discussions to get us there, without name calling and without showboating.