>US Government Debt Ceiling, the Deficit, and Social Security

>Here’s something I keep hearing, “We need to raise the Government’s Debt-Limit so that we can get to work on reducing the Deficit.”  How exactly does that work?  I’d really like to know because I think it’d be grand to get the credit limit raised on all of  my credit cards so that I can spend more in order to bring down my overall debt.  Apparently they think we are stupid enough to swallow that garbage.  We don’t need higher debt-limits or new taxes; what we need is for everyone to pay their fare share and reduced spending on special interests.  It is ridiculous that General Electric has earned Billions of dollars in profit for the past two years but has paid no taxes and people who earn ten times what I do, pay less in taxes.  With only 51% of US households paying taxes and the top 7 profiting US companies paying none, the answer is NOT to tax us more; it is to get rid of the loopholes.  But, I digress; back to reducing spending.  I think the National Endowment for the Arts is a place to start; if you aren’t capable of producing art that someone wants to buy, then you should find a new job.  Why do my tax dollars go for supporting people making paintings with bodily fluids and sculptures that everyone finds to be in poor taste?  If you choose to be an artist and fail at it, the American People should not be giving you what amounts to welfare.  Hey, I want to be a lottery winner, but I’m not succeeding; maybe there should be a National Endowment to support me.  Another place that I think some money could be saved is in foreign aid.  We are giving Pakistan $2 Billion this year; the same Pakistan that has gotten pissy since we killed Osama bin Laden and who likely harbored him in their borders for the last decade.  Really?  Tom Coburn (R-OK) compiled a list of 100 wasteful government programs and projects, that’d be another few places to save some cash; some examples are:  a $700000 grant to study cow farts as a source of methane emissions, $23 million per year to print the Congressional Record that no one reads in print, and a $2.5 million Census Bureau advertisement during the Super Bowl.

This whole business of threatening to withhold Social Security payments if the Debt-Ceiling isn’t raised smacks of thuggery to me.  Seriously, SS isn’t even budget-funded; it is simply a threat of “do what I want or I will hurt people and it’ll all be YOUR fault.”  Furthermore, the Congress needs to keep their hands out of the SS Fund.  They have “borrowed” nearly $2 Trillion from it since 1993.  This is akin to people borrowing from their retirement fund to buy a car.  It takes years to pay back the loan and after it’s paid they are only back to where they were when they took the loan.  Imagine what SS would be if they had left that $2 trillion in there to grow naturally.The simple fact is that our Government has a problem with seeing any money in the Peoples’ pockets without developing a strong urge to take some of it. 

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