Archive for the ‘Papers/ Analysis’ Category


The Debt is Too Damn High

John R

Mr. Bourjaily

AP. U.S. History, Period 3

June 10, 2011

America is in the midst of a debt crisis not seen since that 1940s. The national debt is currently at 14.4 trillion dollars, and is nearing the Gross Domestic Product of 14.7 trillion dollars. Without action, there would be no recovery. However, there is more bickering being done in Legislature rather than creating a bipartisan agreement for a budget that would rescue us from this unnecessary hole we dug ourselves into. We cannot sit idle while people of power compromise our generation’s future because of their inability and/or unwillingness to do what is necessary.

One of the biggest issues that must be faced is the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security costs. In 2010, the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Health Program (CHIP), and Social Security accounted for 41% of the national budget. In contrast, the spending for education is only 3%. Consider that by 2030, the 65 and over population would have doubled. Current entitlement spending is unsustainable, uneconomical, and unfair for future generations.

Of course, politicians are hesitant. They fear that they would receive punishment from their AARP overlords. They know that cutting entitlement spending is critical to America’s hope for a surplus, yet deny that entitlement spending is a big issue. The AARP has them on a short leash.

It’s time for our generation to stand up and remind the politicians that senior Americans are not the only ones they are representing.

Now then, we can move on to the next issue, Defense spending. Defense spending accounts for 20% of the national budget as of 2010. I normally have no qualms about spending for our nation’s security, but when you wage two wars with borrowed money that you have no idea how you would pay for, there is a serious problem. That is exactly what President Bush did. The total cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan totaled $170 billion in 2010. There has to be spending slashes in defense, now that the war in Iraq is over, and we have to limit our responsibilities abroad so that we can fix our own problems back home.

The longer we wait, the dimmer our situation gets. Decisive actions must be made. Because, quite frankly, the debt is too damn high.


The United States’ wallet is hanging precariously over the abyss of bankruptcy.  With 14 trillion dollars in debt and rising, rewriting the budget is not a convenience, not a nicety, but a necessity to America’s continued existence. But in order to rewrite the budget, in order to ensure a brighter future to our children, in order to move America into a new era, we must revise many social programs, particularly Medicare.

Medicare is health insurance administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which serves Americans 65 or older, those under 65 with certain disabilities, and people who meet other special criteria. The program was originally enacted as a part of the Social Security Act of 1965 meant to amend previously existing Social Security legislation and was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is funded by payroll taxes paid by the American people (About 2.9%).

Eligibility for Medicare automatically opens for American Citizens or those who have lived legally in the United States for at least 5 years and are 65 or older. Americans under that age limit who qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are also eligible and those with certain other criteria also qualify. Many Americans happen to be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, which makes them “dual eligible.” If they cannot pay the premium for Medicare, they use money they receive from Medicaid to pay.

Medicare operates on four parts, labeled A, B, C, and D. Part A pertains to coverage of hospital costs for stay and other fees. Part B mostly covers insurance for outpatient procedures such as X-Rays, diagnostic tests and other physician services. Part B also covers medical instruments such as wheelchairs, canes and prosthetic devices. Part C is an alternative plan in which those people who qualify to receive both benefits A and B can choose to receive them through another provider organization under Part C. Finally, part D covers medication prescribed by doctors for their patients.

Since the US National Debt is on the verge of going from the “Critical” level to the “Fatal,” spending needs to be reduced greatly, and there’s no better place to start than Medicare – it accounts for about 20% of our budget, or $599,000,000,000, as of 2008. There are a few ways to reform Medicare in order to reduce the nation’s spending obligations, of course paired with cuts to the program. Perhaps the most logical is to raise the age at which a citizen qualifies to receive benefits. In fact, this was how the program was initially designed – the qualifying age was actually higher than the life expectancy of the average American. However, this would have to be done gradually so that it does not cause an uproar with the 65-or-better crowd. Thus, the qualifying age could be raised a few years every decade, or the new qualifying age could be made effective to those born after a certain date. For example, the government could mandate that those born after January 1, 1990 will qualify to receive Medicare benefits after they reach the age of, say, 70. Doing this would significantly decrease the amount of Medicare recipients, and, thus, would reduce the government’s obligations to the program.

Another remedy to the nation’s increasing Medicare obligations is to make the tax that pays for Medicare optional. Granted this would take out just as much revenue as it would recipients, if optional Medicare were supplemented by a revenue-increasing reform, such as an age-raise or a tax increase, then the government would be able to save money and curb the increasing cost of healthcare. The only issue this raises is the case of a person who thinks that they are financially secure and choose not to pay the tax, and then wind up in a situation where they cannot pay for healthcare. In this case, the government would have to (be warned: this next concept is scary) actually hold these citizens accountable for their choice. Chances are, however, that these people would have access to financial or medical help from their families, communities, churches, etc., and would probably be okay in the end.

A third option would be means testing the Medicare recipients. This would indeed raise revenue and reduce the amount of recipients, but it poses many problems. In this system, a citizen would have to be below a certain economic status to qualify for Medicare benefits. In more plain English, the rich would not be allowed benefits and would have to pay into the system anyways. Given that the government already forces the rich (top 1% economically) to pay for 21.5% of all federal and state taxes, it just seems more unfair that they would be forced to pay into a system that they are not allowed to draw out of. Sure, the rich wouldn’t need assistance, but it is still unfair to make someone pay for something and then not give them the option to receive it. However, if there were a cutoff income for which those who are above the line do not pay the tax and do not receive the services provided by Medicare, then the system would be fairer.

So in the end, the most promising solution to the Medicare problem seems to be gradually raising the eligibility limit since it accomplishes the goal of reducing the breadth of Medicare coverage and spending without potentially reducing revenue for the government like the optional tax and without unfairly taxing a small demographic group. What is most imperative is that the United States needs to find a suitable solution to the looming disaster on the horizon. With the estimated 70 million Baby Boomers expected to join a system that was made for a considerably smaller generation, the country will find itself descending into an economic tailspin if this issue is not dealt with in the next few decades.

 

 

The Numbers

Posted: June 10, 2011 in Papers/ Analysis

US Federal Budget Proposal

Ian R and John G

[All figures are in billions of dollars]

Overall

Category Actual FY2012 Budget Our Proposal
Receipts 2,627 3,246
Outlays 3,729 3,383
Deficit 1,101 137

Outlays

Category Actual FY2012 Budget Our Proposal
Security (discretionary) 884 878[1]
Non-security discretionary 456 446[2]
Social Security 761 566[3]
Medicare 485 364[4]
Medicaid 269 269
Troubled Asset Relief Program 13 0[5]
Other mandatory programs 612 612
Net interest 242 242
Disaster relief 6 6
Total outlays 3,729 3,383

Receipts

Category Actual FY2012 Budget Our Proposal
Individual income taxes 1,141 1,495[6]
Corporation income taxes 329 593[7]
Social Security payroll taxes 659 659
Medicare payroll taxes 201 201
Unemployment insurance 57 57
Other retirement 8 8
Excise taxes 103 103
Estate and gift taxes 14 14
Customs duties 30 30
Deposits of earnings, Federal Reserve System 66 66
Other miscellaneous receipts 20 20
Total receipts 2,627 3,246

Explanation of changes and projection methodologies

  1. $5.7 billion annually could be saved by restructuring the Department of Defense’s healthcare administration system, according to the GAO.
  2. According to the GAO, following their specific recommendations for elimination of redundancy, waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the Executive departments “could result in tens of billions of dollars in annual savings.” Including the GAO’s plan as part of our budget proposal, we cut $10 billion for non-security discretionary spending to reflect such efforts at streamlining government operations.
  3. We propose raising the eligibility age for Social Security benefits for retired workers and aged widowers to 70. The annual savings in Social Security were calculated by multiplying the number of Social Security beneficiaries of each age under 70 (a total of about 14 million) by the average annual spending per beneficiary for each age group (about $14,000). This resulted in a savings of $195 billion.
  4. We propose raising the eligibility age for Medicare Parts A & B to 70. The annual savings in Medicare spending were calculated by multiplying the number of Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 70 (about 16 million) by the average annual spending per beneficiary (about $7,400). This resulted in a savings of $121 billion. Unfortunately, the data used in our calculations, the most recent available, was from 2004.
  5. TARP was intended to avert a collapse of the nation’s financial markets; since that is no longer a threat, continued spending on it is unnecessary.
  6. Gains achieved by repealing the 2001 and 2003 Bush Tax Cuts and restoring individual income tax rates to their 2000 levels. Taxes brought in revenue amounting to 10.2% of GDP in 2000, so we estimated current tax revenues with 2000 tax rates as 10.2% percent of today’s GDP.
  7. Corporate profits in 2010 amounted to approximately $1,756 billion. To estimate the gains by raising the effective tax rate to match the statutory tax rate for high-earning corporations, we took 15% of this amount ($264 billion) and added it to the current national corporate tax liability. This is, in all likelihood, a generous underestimation of the statutory tax liability of the nation’s largest corporations.

Conclusion

The United States is currently facing a national debt that is close to equaling our Gross Domestic Product. If our national debt continues to grow at its current astronomical rate, it will someday be untenable. Unfortunately, at the moment, that growth rate shows no sign of slowing. We believe that, ideally, our nation should run a modest annual surplus, so that we can begin to pay off the principal of our debt. To our dismay, it seems that members of Congress from both parties disagree with that belief. They continue to display their customary lack of efficacy in making any meaningful progress towards stabilizing the nation’s financial state. In spite of this, we strove to use our much more limited time and resources to propose changes to the federal budget that would save the country money without harming America’s citizens, and then project the exact effects that those changes would have on the budget.

The above proposed federal budget succeeds in reducing the nation’s annual deficit to only about 12% of what it currently is. It makes deep cuts into Medicare and Social Security and raises taxes substantially to accomplish this. However, we believe these drastic measures, and more, are necessary. Our proposed budget does not succeed in generating a surplus, however, it is our hope that changes we did not specify would be able to close the $137 billion deficit our proposal leaves. We excluded longer-term changes, such as withdrawal of our military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, which would save hundreds of billions of dollars annually, as well as changes we felt necessary but that we were unable to accurately project the effects of, especially the elimination of inefficient and redundant programs in the civil discretionary spending category.

Data and statistics sources:

White House Office of Management and Budget (whitehouse.gov/omb)

Congressional Budget Office (cbo.gov)

Government Accountability Office (gao.gov)

Social Security Administration (ssa.gov)

US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (bea.gov)

CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Julia Z, Dani W, Madeline W, Mike R
Dr. Halla
AP Government, Pd. 3
30 May 2011
Project Paper

Creating a Budget to Meet America’s Needs

America is experiencing a debt crisis. The debt towers at a mind-boggling $14.36 trillion and grows by almost 4 billion daily (Hall). America does not have the financial resources to sustain such spending for much longer, considering that already the debt almost equals the country’s Gross Domestic Product, which stands at 14,660.4 billion (“Current Dollar”).  America needs a revised budget to fit its needs, one that will not send the country spiraling down into bankruptcy.

Thanks to modern medicine, people are living for longer than they did when social security was first designed. Also, all the baby boomers are at the age of retiring, further increasing the number of elderly in the country relying on social security. This has increased the cost of social security to become roughly twenty percent of the current budget (“Policy Basics”). To accommodate for the longevity in the elderly, the age for social security benefits should be moved up to 70 years of age in order to decrease costs. This saves the government money while still keeping the program alive. This is more of a long term policy because those who are reaching the current age of 65 deserve their money when it was promised to them. Social security should also be scaled to save money so that affluent elders, who can rely on their own savings in their old age, get less money than those who have so little money that they rely solely on social security money. This would help the government spread its limited funds to reach more of the elderly without running out of money. One way to encourage the elderly to have more money in their bank accounts is to grant income tax breaks for those who work after the retirement age.

In order to maintain control over the national debt in the future, the debt ceiling should be lowered by 50 billion every ten years as the government annually pays off as much as reasonably possible of the debt. The government should also mandate states to create programs to teach children the basics of finance  in school. Adult programs at local public centers on how to manage their household finances will help people become more responsible consumers, thus improving the country’s economy.

Defense spending is another twenty percent of the budget (“Policy Basics”) and cuts to this portion of the budget will free money for the government to pay off debt. Military research and development could be cut by 10% to save money.  The military could also sell stuff that they are phasing out of operation. They need to check the backgrounds of who they are selling to; however, to make sure that the buyer is not a threat to the country’s security. Programs such as Xe, nuclear defense, and railgun development could also be cut to minimize costs.

Healthcare, consisting of Children’s Health Improvement Program, Medicare and Medicaid, account for the largest portion of the budget and grow in cost annually. To minimize some of the cost of medicare, the age for eligibility should be raised to 70. Aid should also be scaled based on income in order to make the program more manageable. Healthcare should be reformed and streamlined to make spending more efficient within the programs. Medical malpractice reforms would cut the cost of what the government programs pay to individuals on an as-needed basis. These measures are necessary to keep the programs alive without having them consuming the budget.

The federal government spends about three percent of its budget on education (“Policy Basics”). The education system should be streamlined by cutting overhead positions and unnecessary spending. Eliminating charter school would also decrease costs. However, education is an investment in the country’s future and therefore cuts to this area of spending should be avoided.

The Environmental Protection Agency is the federal government’s environmental program. The EPA should be reformed and broken into smaller, more focused sub-programs that tackle individual problems to make the program more efficient and cost effective. A measure to incentivize environmentally friendly actions and methods could be to strengthen environment tax credits and promote ways to make recycled fuel cheaper. This would keep the government from having to spend a lot more money on the environment while still making progress toward a cleaner America.

The money for our budget comes from taxes. Loopholes for corporate statutory tax can be removed to increase the money the government gets from the business sector of America. The government can also pass policies to incentivize small business that will create new job opportunities and provide the government with more income tax revenue.  Income taxes should be reformed to be graduated, with the heaviest taxes going to the richest with incomes over $200,000 per year. Taxes should also tax net worth, including assets along with the traditional property taxes. Cutting the Bush tax cuts will also provide the government with more revenue. All money coming in from these changes would go directly to paying off the debt in order to eliminate it.

The budget includes money set aside for transportation, which deals mostly with America’s infrastructure. To save money, the US should levy a use tax on companies who will be the heaviest users of the proposed roads. In order to create more jobs, the government should sponsor programs to build more ports and revamp dams. Costs of construction can be cut by using prisoners to build the roads. Quality control could be ensured by lessening the prisoner’s sentence based on work.

If America does not change its spending habits, the economic downturn will cause instability all across the country and in the government. Action must be taken before such an economic collapse, or generations of Americans will have to suffer the consequences.

Works Cited

“Current Dollar and ‘Real’ GDP.” U.S. Bureau of Economic Accounts. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 26 May 2011. Web. 5 June 2011. <http://www.bea.gov/​national/​index.htm#gdp&gt;.

Hall, Ed. “U.S. National Debt Clock.” U.S. National Debt Clock. N.p., 2 June 2011. Web. 5 June 2011. <http://www.brillig.com/​debt_clock/&gt;.

“Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Matrix Croup International, 15 Apr. 2011. Web. 5 June 2011. <http://www.cbpp.org/​cms/​index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258&gt;


Creating a Budget to Meet America’s Needs

Environmental Reform: Influencing the World while Cutting Expenses

America is most often regarded as the nation that creates the world’s worst influences when it comes to living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. One of the most predominant reasons why this is so is because of the widespread ignorance that spreads like wildfire; we often ask how this can be changed to help prevent not only worldwide pollution but dependence on foreign fuel sources (that may increase the chances of war) and hazardous health problems (that could spike Medicare and Social Security issues through the roof). While currently thought as the petty affair by a majority of Americans plagued by ignorance, solving the environmental problem currently acting as the elephant in the room can not only bring future serenity amongst environmentalists worrisome of the deterioration of our planet (which is beginning to develop an airtight, scientifically proven case that people can no longer ignore) but can also severely cut foreign oil dependence and provide healthier lives for the residents of this nation. The beneficial sides of the argument overwhelmingly supersede the losses, which may be the time it may take towards reaching a more educated public and get people to vote towards a cleaner future of America and the world.

Environmentalists for forty-plus years have been rampant about the disastrous effects our addiction with oil causes, and yet, standards have little changed since then. It is often stressed that in order to be most socially competent on the road, the biggest car with the biggest engine must be driven. While this has been spoon-fed to society as the popular and most socially acceptable way to shop for cars, it is no wonder the money spent on US imported oil is about $489 billion. Money spent on imported oil from OPEC countries runs the nation about $182 billion. While $671 billion may only represent 1.2% of the United States’ debt, this is still a whopping amount of money spent on energy that could be put to good use in other more needed areas, such as investing money to support studies that may provide the world with alternative, eco-friendly energies that may be greater than oil in terms of efficiency and equal or greater in power. While continuing the use of oil has become convenient for us, we can no longer choose to be oblivious to the harsh realities of the immense amount of expenses spent on something intelligent American research can easily replace in a potentially short period of time.

The amount of oil we burn affects our Medicare rates, as well. When people have more health issues as well as more complex ones, Medicare rises in costs. According to Stanford scientist Mark Jacobson, areas with higher levels of CO2 in the local atmosphere have been linked to higher mortality rates in said areas. However, people don’t just collapse and die out of no prior signs of illness. Elderly will tend to portray respiratory issues as well as intolerance of high temperatures. Because of this, Medicare rates rise due to increased hospital attendance of the elderly. Social Security rates have also rise dramatically due to increased oil consumption. When gas prices rise, the overall market tends to stagnate, which is considerably bad news when one regards the 3% growth needed to bounce back from a recession. At the moment, the United States is currently at a 0.3% growth rate due to a combination of a 12.4% Social Security rate as well as the high gas prices mentioned earlier (about $3.761 being the national average price for one regular gallon in June 2011). When these two factors take up a considerable fraction of your money, the American public tends to save rather than spend which in turn slows the economy dramatically. In conclusion, if oil was not a factor and more efficient alternative fuels such as hydrogen and electricity were utilized, we would not only majorly cut the money spent on oil but spark the United States’ economy by being able to create our own energy resources.

However, successfully pointing a different direction for the country to follow cannot happen overnight. Firstly, in order to get people to vote towards a more environmentally friendly future, a different education must be pushed through our growing youth, taking advantage of their undeveloped opinions. Attempts at telling the rest of our aged population may take place but would not be as effective.


Comparison of Paul Ryan and Obama

  Barack Obama’s Budget Paul Ryan’s Budget
Education “Continues support for a $5,550 maximum Pell Grant award, $819 above the level in 2008, while putting the program on a sustainable fiscal path by eliminating the year-round Pell Grant and the in-school interest subsidy for graduate and professional student loans.” “Return Pell grants to their pre-stimulus levels to curb rising tuition inflation and make sure aid is targeted to the truly needy.”

 

Defense -“ Reinvests $100 billion of expected savings in high-priority areas such as the development or purchase of unmanned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets; more ships; a new ground combat vehicle; the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite; and the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.”

-“ Provides $553 billion for the base budget, an increase of $22 billion above the 2010 appropriation. This reflects continued investment in national security priorities such as cybersecurity, satellites, and nuclear security. The Budget also includes a series of management and acquisition reforms that will produce a net of $78 billion in savings through 2016.”

– “DOD- reducing its funding by $78 billion over the next 5 years.  To make this happen there needs to be the elimination of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle; reducing four Air Force air operations centers into two and reducing the number of Generals and Admirals by more than 100.”

-“ Provide $692.5 billion for national defense spending in Fiscal Year 2012, an amount that is

consistent withAmerica’s military goals and strategies.”

-“Reduce inefficient spending by $178 billion, following guidance from Defense Secretary Robert

Gates. Reinvest $100 billion of these savings into key combat capabilities, and put the rest

toward deficit reduction.”

Taxes -“ Allow the 2001 and 2003 high income and estate tax cuts to expire.”

-“ On December 17, 2010 the President signed into law the bipartisan Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act which will: prevent a Middle-Class Tax Increase, cut payroll taxes for 150 million workers, provide critical tax credits for families, extend unemployment benefits, spur business investment with 100 percent expensing, extend the research and experimentation tax credit, and continue renewable energy grants.

-“ Reject the President’s call to raise taxes. Instead, keep overall revenue as a share of the

economy at historical averages between 18 and 19 percent, a level compatible with growth, and

– if the spending restraints in this budget are enacted – sufficient to fund government

operations over time.”

Creation of Jobs – “Every $1 billion that we increase in exports supports more than 5,000 jobs.”

–  “In conjunction with the Chinese President’s state visit to Washington in January, President Obama announced deals worth over $45 billion in increased U.S. exports that will support an estimated 235,000 American jobs.”

-“2-year freeze on Federal civilian worker salaries

-Lower taxes to help private business owners, who create jobs for Americans

-“Boost private-sector employment by slowing the explosive growth of the public sector,

achieving a 10 percent reduction over the next three years in the federal workforce through

attrition, coupled with a pay freeze for the next five years and reforms to government workers’

generous benefit packages.”

Agriculture – Provides $35million for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative to bring grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to undeserved communities.

– “Maximizes efficiency and effectiveness of forest restoration efforts to improve forest health and resiliency by combining and streamlining multiple programs.”

– “Invests $6.5 billion in renewable and clean energy to spur the creation of high-value jobs, make America more energy independent, and drive global competitiveness in the sector.”

– “The President’s Budget provides $23.9 billion to support this important mission, a decrease of $3.2 billion.”

– “The Budget includes a decrease in agricultural spending of $2.5 billion over 10 years.”

-“Americacannot be globally competitive if too many of its people are hungry or ill because of lack of access to healthy foods.”

– “The President’s Budget provides $7.9 billion for discretionary nutrition program support.”

 

-“Reflect the economic reality of record-high farm income by restructuring farm programs,

saving taxpayers money and increasing farmer independence.”

-“First, reduce the fixed payments that

go to farmers irrespective of price levels, to reflect that soaring commodity prices are reducing the need for high

levels of farm-income support. Second, reform the open-ended nature of the government’s support for crop

insurance, so that agricultural producers assume the same kind of responsibility for managing risk that other

businesses do.”

Medicare/Medicaid -“Implementing cost-saving components of the ACA that target spending to maximize efficiency and quality per dollar spent, es­pecially in Medicare and Medicaid.”

-“Continues a commitment to strengthen program integrity in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and provides new resources to reach the Administration’s goal of reducing the Medicare fee-for-service error rate in half by 2012.”

-“Addition­ally, it provides $581 million in discretionary pro­gram integrity funding to implement activities to reduce the payment error rate and enhance civil and criminal enforcement for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP”

-“Save Medicare for current and future generations while making no changes for those in and near retirement. For younger workers, when they reach eligibility, Medicare will provide a Medicare payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits their needs. These future Medicare beneficiaries will be able to choose a plan the same way members of Congress do. Medicare will provide additional assistance for lower-income beneficiaries and those with greater health risk”

-“Ensure the cost of frivolous litigation is not passed on to consumers in the form of higher health-care premiums by capping non-economic damages in medical liability lawsuits”

-“Stop the raid on the Medicare trust fund that was going to be used to pay for the new health care law. Any current-law Medicare savings must go to Medicare, not financing the creation of new open-ended health-care entitlements”

-“Fix the Medicare physician payment formula for the next ten years so that Medicare beneficiaries continue to have access to health care”

-“Force policymakers to come to the table and enact common-sense reforms to keep the program solvent for current beneficiaries and make it stronger for future generations. Social Security must be reformed to prevent severe cuts in future benefits”

-“Set in motion the process of reforming Social Security by establishing a requirement that in the event that the Social Security program is not sustainable, the President, n conjunction with the Board of Trustees, must submit a plan for restoring balance to the fund. The budget then requires congressional leaders in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to put forward their best ideas as well.”

-“Move the conservation to solutions that save Social Security, thus providing the space to forge a bipartisan path forward and ensure that Social Security remains a key part of retirement security for the future”

-“Save $750 billion over ten years, contributing to the long-term stabilization of the federal

government’s fiscal path and encouraging fiscal responsibility at the state level.”

 

 

Maklite’s thoughts on Obama’s proposal

 

Education:

I agree with what Obama has proposed because he is making obtaining a bachelor’s degree more realistic and affordable for every student.

 

Defense:

I think that he is cutting funding to areas that are not necessarily dire if we did not have them.

 

Taxes:

I liked the fact that he signed an act that will prevent the middle classes taxes to increase.

 

Creation of jobs:

I like the fact that Obama is trying to create jobs in many ways, for example exporting.  It is not only beneficial for the creation of jobs, but to the economy of our nation.

 

Agriculture:

Obama is taking steps to try and feed undeserved communities healthy and organic food.  Investment in clean and renewable energy benefits us to live a healthier life, but also creates more jobs.

 

Medicare/Medicaid:

I think that many measures should be taken to prevent people faking an application for Medicaid, and losing money on people who don’t actually need it.

 

 

 

 

Alan’s thoughts on Paul Ryan’s Budget

Education: I do not agree on Paul Ryan’s Budget along the lines of education because he is returning budget on education back to what it was in 2008 while Obama is making the budget on education higher than what it was in 2008. I think education is really important for people in America because we are behind other countries’ educational system

 

Defense: I do, however, agree with Paul Ryan’s Budget on defense, because he supports the increase in defense spending, which is need to keep America safe, and is needed in the two wars being fought.

 

Creation of jobs: I think the creation of jobs is needed, but making public jobs equal to private jobs is not the way because this will sooner or later cause more private business owners more powerful than public officials, since the businesses will have more workers.

 

Agriculture: I disagree with Paul Ryan’s budget along the lines of agriculture because without the government’s help, farmers will produce less and America will have to rely more on imports.

 

Medicare/Medicaid: Unfortunately I also disagree with Paul Ryan’s Medicare/Medicaid solution. This is because I support a change to the Medicare system now, so that we do not need to spend a huge chunk of the budget on something we could spend less on. This is also because the Baby Boom Generation is going to make the situation worse as more people go into retirement. Medicaid I think should be improved to accommodate the changes to Medicare.

 

 

Outline of Plan

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Papers/ Analysis

History Notes

21 May 2011

  • SPENDING
  • Try to avoid a deficit, break even, try to have a surplus
  • Constitutional amendment to break even
  • #1 Spending: Medicare and Medicaid
  • Expand programs with Long Term Effects
  • Social Security:
  • Problem: Higher living age
  • Result: People are depending on SS longer
  • Solution: Raise the age to 70
  • Sliding retirement age with money
  • Limit, not delete
  • Life expectancy when implemented (1936) was 61 or 62 years, SS was 60
  • Current life expectancy (2011) is 78 years, SS is 65
  • Create fluctuating age for SS
  • AARP has large voting block
  • Less SS for affluent elders (assets and income)
  • Working past retirement age = less income taxes
  • Managing National Debt:
  • 3 step solution:
  • Not raise ceiling, decrease ceiling 50 billion every 10 years
  • Layaway fund or pay directly
  • Domestic help for individual funds: Education (Public Health Program)
  • Nationalize oil, energy: reduce competition, drives down prices
  • Defense:
  • Main Components:
  • Iraq, Afghanistan phase out, get out by 2015
  • Reduce nuclear and space spending
  • Reduce military R&D
  • Reduce air force and navy R&D
  • Sell stuff that we are phasing out
  • DO NOT reduce benefits for soldiers
  • Cut Blackwater
  • Cut R&D by 10%
  • Healthcare:
  • Medical malpractice reform
  • Increase Medicare age to 68 v. 70; save 108 billion by 2030, 8 billion this year
  • Nationalize healthcare?
  • Govt. paying for Medicare scaling based on income
  • RESEARCH MORE
  • Educational reform:
  • Increasing minimally
  • Streamline education spending, not increase spending
  • MAKE PROGRAMS MORE EFFECTIVE
  • Eliminate charter schools
  • Money for education from fed. govt. is college scholarships
  • 2.5 billion cut for 2012 budget (waste and extra steps for student loans)
  • Environment:
  • Less money for EPA, more towards new environmental programs
  • Make recycled fuel cheaper
  • TAXES
  • Corporate:
  • Statutory tax rate for large corporations 35%
  • Corporations paying about 13%
  • Make tax rates more effective (get rid of corporate subsidies): large corporations pay more, encourage more small businesses, create more jobs, make economy more effective
  • Env. tax credits more demanding, relevant
  • Income:
  • Graduated
  • Tax net worth (assets tax, not just property)
  • Infrastructure
  • e/Transportation:
  • Involve corporations more because they benefit
  • 2 trillion to reform infrastructure
  • Construct more ports: jobs through construction, businesses benefit, make money, new levies
  • Reconstruct dams
  • Decrease labor spending by using prisoners to built roads
  • Bush Tax Cuts
  • Stop tax cuts
  • Raise tax rates to where they were (norm)
  • Don’t raise taxes on bottom income earners, raise taxes minimally on middle class, lots of taxes on wealthy people