The World Did Not EndPosted: March 11, 2013
Sequestration happened and after a week, other than all the media hype, pretty much nothing happened. After three months of crisis alerts and quotes of Armageddon from both sides of the political aisle here is where we ended up.
- Taxes went up for most working people (don’t think so – then just ask people about their take home pay and the impact of increases the FICA tax back up to 6.2%)
- The Defense budget was cut, or was it just a smaller increase, I can never tell anymore, and
- The domestic budget was cut (ditto on the cut versus smaller increase issue)
These were three of the four things that had to happen to start getting us closer to financial reality and maybe some day a real balanced budget. The only thing not dealt with were the entitlement programs (Social Security and Medicare), but that may have to wait for a while. I say three of the four things that had to happen because I am a big proponent of the Comeback America Initiative lead by David Walker. (More information can be found at http://keepingamericagreat.org/ )
In a nutshell this group says you can’t solve the debt crisis with one tool. Tax increases alone won’t do it (sorry to my Democratic friends), spending cuts alone won’t do it (sorry to my TEA party friends), the military must also be cut (sorry to my Republican friends) and you have to deal with Medicare and Social Security (sorry to everyone else) or you won’t fix the fiscal problems this country is facing.
Sure we can be worried about Cyber attacks from other countries, nuclear strikes from radicals, or any of a number things, but the reality is no one outside the U.S. has to lift a finger to destroy this country because we are doing a great job of that ourselves. It won’t happen overnight, but like a terrible disease, our self-induced debt addiction will slowly eat away at our vitality until there is nothing left but an empty shell of what used to be a great country.
The fact that we have actually moved in the right direction – even if it included yelling and screaming all the way – gives me hope that we might eventually find our way out of this hole. It won’t be easy and it won’t result in a big group hug across the political spectrum, but I will take ugly success over beautiful failure anytime.