What people need from government?
The place to begin is reviewing what We the People need and want. What is it today and how much does it cost?
In my book, Smart Data, Enterprise Performance Optimization Strategy © 2010 Wiley, I took Obama’s interpretation of our needs and added some essential performance metrics omitted or deficient in his plan. Then, I proceeded to describe and define how the nation needs to accomplish these things. Republicans and Democrats might very well agree with what needs to be accomplished. As issue is how and shifts in priorities.
When you are broke and your credit limit is tapped out, you have to stop spending. There is no choice. Like it or not, spending in Afghanistan, Iraq and anywhere else in the Middle East must stop, cold turkey, because that is where we are financially. All nonessential spending must stop.
Now, what happens when government does this? Government workers get laid off. So, you have two choices, 1) add to the unemployment by laying them off 2) cut the hours so that more people can work (producing less income but holding the hourly rate steady), or 3) cut wages so that more people can work.
In a global economy where the cost of labor has been a major problem for Americans, cutting wages must be on the table. Government is more likely to accomplish this by cutting hours worked.
Needed is more revenue too. Taxing corporations and wealthy individuals is a necessary evil at this point. They are not paying their fair share.
“Among GOP, anti-tax orthodoxy runs deep By Lori Montgomery, Published: June 5
The Republican Party once had a home for the thinking of Tom Coburn, Mike Crapo and Saxby Chambliss. But that party is long gone.
The three U.S. senators banded together a few months ago in support of higher tax revenue as a means of balancing the federal budget. Even with drastic spending cuts, they concluded, Washington could not vanquish its soaring $14.3 trillion debt without additional income.
Such reasoning was common in the GOP circa 1963, when Republicans denounced tax cuts proposed by President John F. Kennedy as a road to red ink and rampant inflation. But today’s GOP adheres to a “no new taxes” orthodoxy that has proved far more powerful than the desire to balance the budget. As House Speaker John A. Boehner has said: Raising taxes is “unacceptable and a non-starter.”
This orthodoxy is now woven so deeply into the party’s identity that all but 13 of 288 GOP lawmakers in Congress have signed a formal pledge not to raise taxes. The strategist who invented the pledge, Grover G. Norquist, compares it to a brand, like Coca-Cola, built on “quality control” so that Republican voters know they will get “the same thing every time.”
Loyalty to the brand is so strong that no Republican has voted for a major federal tax increase since 1991, Norquist says. It is so widespread that more than a dozen governors and hundreds of state legislators now count themselves as adherents. And it is so well defended that its followers are constantly patrolling at both the state and federal levels for new forms of trespass.
In California, the pledge is interpreted to prohibit state lawmakers from asking voters to decide whether certain existing taxes should be extended. In Pennsylvania, the pledge is cited as a barrier to imposing an “impact” fee on the environmentally questionable business of extracting gas from underground shale.
On Capitol Hill, Norquist has admonished Coburn (Okla.), Crapo (Idaho) and Chambliss (Ga.) for suggesting a tax option for tackling the debt: reducing credits and deductions worth an estimated $1 trillion a year. Although most of the cash would be used to lower tax rates for everyone, a portion would be dedicated to restoring national solvency.
No good, says Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform. Under the pledge, raising revenue in any way requires an equal tax cut elsewhere to avoid expanding the size of government. And, yes, that sometimes means protecting tax breaks that Republicans view as bad public policy, Norquist and his supporters say.
The GOP’s three-decade-old campaign against taxes has clearly had a significant impact. Neither major party would advocate a return to the 1970s, when people earning more than $200,000 a year faced a top rate of 70 percent. But the top rate is now half that and, partly because of the recent recession, tax collections have fallen to their lowest level as a share of the economy in 60 years.
Major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 also contributed to the decline in revenue — and helped drive up budget deficits. Today, the spiraling debt ranks well ahead of too-high taxes on the list of economic concerns. And the GOP’s hard line on the issue stands, alongside Democratic resistance to cutting federal retirement benefits, as the biggest obstacle to a bipartisan agreement to tackle that problem.”