Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taking a real look at what Republican budgets might bring

Finally finding out and facing what we would have to do without if sequestration happens is a good exercise. The military laying off, Medicare cutting, flight controllers working less, airline delays and so forth. We learn that government plays a big role in our lives and it's kind of hypocritical to want to slash it while we are dependent on it.

To avoid sequestration, the Republicans want Obama to agree to some more permanent cuts to Medicare and so forth. Too bad the Republicans tend to not talk enough about the bloated defense budget. Another good exercise would be for Obama to work out a draft Medicare plan within the Republican budget. Let people know what the co pays might look like, what the premiums might look like and what services would have to be ended. For instance could there still be a Medicare prescription drug benefit?

Taking a hard look at some of these budget proposals might get people clamoring for more taxes on the wealthy. Still, even taxes on the wealthy might not solve the whole problem as we do tend to live beyond our means, but we need to start thinking realistically, starting with our huge military budget. Can we really afford (I believe 11 if the Enterprise is replaced) aircraft carrier task forces? Do we really need all those fancy jet fighter programs and weapons systems started during cold war days?

There are some games where community people come together and work on a draft budget. Can be instructive as an exercise in just what it could really look like, beyond just the rhetoric. Get the people to go beyond nativity and see what various proposals do to our comfort zones.

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