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Congress needs to do its job

Posted: December 27, 2012 - 4:39pm  |  Updated: December 28, 2012 - 9:40am

I think it is sacrilegious that this group of elected officials could not draft a budget in any of the last four years. I did not hear of any of them offering to cut their wages or medical and retirement benefits although I take it for granted that most of them were willing to accept the reduction of benefits for Social Security and Medicare benefits as someone decided to proclaim it a new law without any discussion.

I believe that they are only programs with members paying into them for all of their working life and still paying every month into the Medicare plan when they start drawing Social Security. My wife and myself pay each month into Medicare $209.80, which seems to go up every year.

Now I would like to talk about Medicaid and food stamps, and welfare payments and housing. None of the participants of these plans have paid a wooden nickel into those accounts. I have heard that one Medicaid patient received and organ implant, plus they purchase new dental plates every 5 years and glasses every year.

Every person on Social Security has had to learn how to cut back on everything because of the cutback on the money we thought they were taking care of. They should have learned a lesson of cutbacks. I could cut the expenditures of Washington by one simple sound and solid proclamation: “Every department in the federal government will have their budgets cut by five percent.” That is just a itsey bistey amount. I know it will work, because when I was in the Navy, 1951-55 and working in the Engineering Office we would get those little notices that we would have to cut back X amount and we did. There is no bargaining in Washington as the rule there is My Way or The Highway and after the last few ways and we definitely need to change our ways.

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Sam Von Pufendorf
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Sam Von Pufendorf 12/30/12 - 11:08 am
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No nothing know nothing congress

It's been 23 months since Simpson Bowles was struck down in committee(it never made it to a vote of congress). The 112th congress had 1126 votes. 107 bills passed, 46 of those bills named public buildings, federal thorough ways and other such BS. Then we got into the real meat of this congress ... transferring land from one Federal agency to another. That consumed 21 bills. And they did all of this on overtime! That right, they worker 19 days more than required by law and by the time the congress ends on 1/3 they could very well have worked 25 days more than a standard congress. Of course we have to pay them per diem to produce nothing more than paperwork! The only bill with any social or economic was to raise the minimum wage!
Your point of cuts in the 50's probably did not match the cuts that will take affect on 1/1. Cuts to the military across the board would most likely cost jobs in the range of 1.5 million unemployed which results in Federal unemployment benefits being paid out. The fiscal cliff will result in cuts to ALL departments of government. All vendors who supply government would feel the pain.
The United States has been on a thirty year binge. At some point we will suffer a hangover and that time is very nearly upon us. Every American will feel the pain.
Some economic stats to consider: Since 1985 the number of millionaires has declined by 8%, but those that are left have seen their wealth increase by 300+ %. The number in the middle class has also shrunk and their incomes have also shrunk by 25%. The only economic groups that have increased are the poor but their incomes have shrunk. The economic group that has grown the most is the very poor and even with the minimum wages going up (the wage garnered by that group) their income has also gone down.
In 1964, the Kennedy tax cuts took effect, reducing the top tier income rate from 91 to 70% simultaneously raising the top earner. It also cut the corporate rate from 52 to 48%. The current tax cuts (G.W. Bush) temporarily lowered the top tax bracket from 39.5 to 35% and didn't touch corporate rates.
I would argue that everyone feels a portion of the pain of the hangover. A more progressive tax that covers all most all income levels, regardless of how meager the lowest bracket would help pay down our debt. The question is; will the government spend the money wisely? I think we all know the answer that.
But, that won't happen and my prediction is the 112th congress will finish every bit as strongly as they've performed throughout ... they will leave this mess for the 113th congress who couldn't possibly underperform the 112th ... or could they?

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