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In looking at these "flashpoints" it is clear they fall into one of two camps: gimmicks and reality. The gimmicks are calling "savings" from past wars a cut (no one in their right mind could believe this should count) and further cutting of the defense budget (an unwise choice given the world in which we live). This leaves two realities -- raising revenue via taxes (which will have to be done to EVERYONE if it is going to raise enough revenue to be important) and cutting entitlements (there is PLENTY of room for savings in most of these "bottonless pit" programs). In the "big boy" world we call this, "Read'em and weep!"
ddellwo: To your list I would add defense. If we are really going to look at a bills list with honesty we include farm and fossil energy subsidies. I think a tax break on 2nd and above homes should be phased out. Many things in line for reaper before anyone lays a finger on medicaid and social security. Defense, big business subsidies, tax breaks for offshoring revenue and jobs, an increase to regan level capital gains tax levels...you do reasonable returns on level of "tax rates" on the activity I outlined, nobody has to worry about a system not being fiscally sound and a decent dent can be made in debt in 10 year window..unless of course another GW Bush type comes along, destroying the fiscal cliff negotiated cuts. The bush tax cust were never meant to expire..said so in bill. 2010 tea party republican congress crushed our credit rating to extend the crushing national debt of the bush tax coupon. Entitlements aren't social security and medicare. We all paid for them. People feel they are entitled to a national defense to defend against a country (china) by borrowing money from them. People feel entitled to paying far less taxes as percent of income it seems the more that paycheck goes up. Many things and attitudes and top bracket changes need to happen before anyone touches the middle class.
I think the fiscal cliff is the only way we are really going to get any realistic cuts. Both parties are the cause of this.
How about saving $3.3Trillion over the next 10-years by cutting illegal aliens off the dole for education, healthcare, social services, foodstamps and legal services?
Maybe we could start by not giving Burma 170 million dollars and focusing on our needs.
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