A Modest Proposal to Tackle the Deficit
Consider the debate surrounding the "Buffett rule."
|The debate surrounding the Buffett rule has cost the U.S. 75 times more in borrowing than the law would generate in taxes (in comparable periods).|
The U.S. has borrowed $956 billion while Democrats and Republicans have debated the Buffett rule -- if the rule is enacted into law, it would generate roughly $16 billion of tax revenue per year (under the rosiest assumptions). Without passing judgment on the rule (or the outcome), the process is clearly broken.
It's hard to watch all of this electioneering and remain positive about America's future, but pessimism isn't going to solve the problem. Nor will unfettered optimism.
Some people, when confronted with the topic of deficit spending, happily (and condescendingly) proclaim that the world hasn't ended yet. This reminds me of an old smoker cackling that he never got cancer. A person may die before his bad habits catch up with him, but a country has the ability to live indefinitely, provided that we keep it in good shape.
To that end, I'd like to put forth some ideas on how to tackle debt, deficits and democratic demagoguery. Some of you may see through these ideas like cellophane. If so, good! Please amend or improve however you see fit. The goal isn't necessarily to create workable policy (if such a thing still exists), but to start thinking of new ways to solve old problems. Maybe one day we'll get a Congress willing to listen to constituents.