Git ‘Er Done: Tackling Debt and Entitlement Programs in the U.S.
I don’t normally use my blog to talk about politics. At one point in my life, I was heavily involved in politics: volunteering for a grassroots political party in NY and working for a high-profile senator. Now, I try to stay out of the loop of politics, mostly because being involved in it just makes me mad since very little gets done on a grander scale. So this post will be brief.
Imagine the following conversation:
ME: Hello, I’d like to increase my credit limit with your company.
CREDIT CARD COMPANY (CCC): It looks like you have a $20,000 limit, and you’re almost maxed-out on your credit card at $19,500.
ME: I know, but I’d like to keep spending in order to dig myself out of debt so I’m requesting a credit limit increase.
CCC: All right then. (pause as application processes) Looks like your request to increase your credit limit went through. You’ve received a $10,000 increase. Happy spending!
How am I supposed to decrease my spending if I raise my credit limit in order to spend more? I know the example doesn’t translate exactly as the government needed to raise its debt ceiling but without decreasing any significant spending, it’s simply putting a Band-Aid on gunshot wound.
I call this the $&!t the government won’t touch.
Social Security benefits: Social Security is unsustainable and MUST BE phased out for anyone 35 and younger. The retirement age needs to be raised from 67 to 70 for those currently 35-50 years of age and early Social Security benefits must be completely eliminated. Sorry, we can’t afford for you to collect early. If you’re disabled or have special needs (taking care of a family member), apply for an exemption.
Welfare: Families or individuals max out on this program after 5 years. This is supposed to be temporary assistance, not a way of life. If you are still popping out tons of kids after 5 years to stay on this plan and haven’t learned to either use birth control or keep your legs shut, it’s time to put your kids in government-assisted day care and get a job at McDonald’s. Dropping people after five years is more than enough time to allow a family or individual to get some kind of job and get back on their feet.
Unemployment benefits: I know this economy sucks and it’s not easy to find a job that pays well. As a result, the government can’t keep paying all the people who get laid off. But guess what? There are jobs out there. It may not be the white-collar, best-paying job out on the market, but if you’ve been on unemployment for more than 52 weeks (1 year), it’s time to get a minimum-wage job or work two part-time jobs in order to make ends meet.
National health care: Time to put this on the shelf for a while. (It pains me to say that.)
Medicare/Medicaid: This one isn’t as easy to eliminate or phase out as there are millions of people who legitimately need this kind of assistance. The problem with government insurance is that it’s also compounded by the fact that private insurance costs are so high. But I’m sure there are ways to trim spending within this government program.
But thanks to partisan politics and fear of voter backlash, nothing will get done and all Americans will be forced to suffer for it.
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