Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cut and Paste

We have a Super Committee, a group of Republican and Democratic Senators who have been charged with the impossible task of reducing our National Deficit and their time is running out.  It is an interesting problem and they are in a "do or die" situation.  If they fail to reach agreement then the reductions will automatically come out of Social Security, Medicare and the Military.  Even if they reached agreement it is still not final.  There would be a vote in Congress and whatever was decided still needs to be signed by the President.
   All of this is of importance to Artists because we are people too.  We get old, we get sick, we pay taxes.
We have been in this recession for over four years.  Schnitzer Steel Stock is less than $50 from it's high of $117 four years ago.  Not all but most of the stock market is this way.   Housing has taken a beating and we have lost much of our equity there too.  We are unemployed, uninsured and soon to be hungry.  More people are on food assistance than ever before.  This "new normal" is pretty sad.
   To fix it you have to be a betting person, a bit of a gambler.  You could have the attitude of despair, that it is all going to come down crashing upon us like a house of cards.  We must hunker down and pay the piper,
take what suffering that will occur, pay down the National Debt and suffer the consequences.  This same reasoning will want the creation of jobs at any cost.  The cost could be dear indeed.  Get rid of Government rules and regulations, abandon the clean air policies and pollute our waterways, fracture the Earth in the name of industry.
   One could have a more optimistic attitude.  We could bet that there will be a  future, that these are not the "last days on earth", not Armageddon.  We will continue and decide what kind of world we want to live in.
It seems to me that the biggest difference in these decisions between the Republicans and the Democrats
come down to tax revenues, environmental concerns and who would be more able to stimulate the economy,
private enterprise or the government?
   I am sure cuts will be made and they will be more political than economic.  They won't be about fairness but about power.  Why 99% of us can't get the richest 1% to pay an additional 3% in taxes OVER a million a year is all about power.
   It wouldn't be easy to be on that committee, someone will hate you.  One third of Medicare's budget is spent on the last one year of a person's life.  I am not sure that is a good investment.  I think I miss the days when a person could just die in peace and not be carted back and forth to the emergency room and suffer heroic efforts.  Personally I like an Eskimo tradition of being placed on an iceberg or in a small canoe paddling after that last sunset.  The isolation of our society says to put old people in nursing homes and our guilt for this requires huge investments in last days medical care.
   I am sure there is tons of waste that could be cut, probably easily 10% across the board.  We have a country of Government Workers who all have pensions supported by tax dollars.  Pensions that we do not have.
  Our military is huge.  Much bigger than all the rest of the world combined!  Can you even imagine this?
   As a businessman cutting a budget can be a dangerous thing to do.  Some expenditures make money and are necessary.  Rebuilding our Nation's infrastructure is one of these.  We need roads, bridges, trains or commerce will come to a grinding halt.  To invest money there seems like a good idea to me.
   It is all pretty complicated.  First the banks were bailed out and as expensive as that was it was necessary. They represent "the system", our faith in money, our belief that when we get a check it will be cashable, and when we write a check or use a credit card, it will be honored.  This "system" is not perfect and there is a lot of abuse but it is easier to fix it than tear it down.  I think.
   Now it is "Main Streets" time and the question is what to do?

What I do is HERE

1 comment:

conservativelybohemian said...

I haven't a clue as to what to do. What I fear is that we are slowly being killed off by not having options, not qualifying for help that is desperately needed, etc. Rather a case of survival of the fittest. Unfortunately, the fittest will be those with money. Sigh...Ok, I admit it. I am a defeatist, at least from my vantage point.