It is a matter of debate right now, among progressive circles, as to if there is a fiscal cliff, or if there isn't and even questioning if it is all just kabuki theater.
And if the Fiscal Cliff really exists, what exactly is the basis of saying that the nation needs to trim some four trillions of dollars from the Federal Government's projected deficit over the next ten years?
A One trillion dollar a year deficit means that around six percent of the GDP is in the hole. If only most Americans had such a situation with their personal budgets!
But let's forget that for a moment. Let's instead say that it is indeed a good idea to get rid of some 4+ trillions of dollars being spent by the Federal Government over the next ten years. My personal choice would be ending the Drug Enforcement Agency - after all, the Feds have already spent over one trillion bucks on cracking the whips on drug users, and all it has gotten us is this lousy police state! But that notion of mine is right up there with, "When will pigs fly, and take out the garbage on most Sunday nights"
SO back to reality: let's remind ourselves and our law makers that MOST IMPORTANTLY - Social Security is its own damn fund! And currently is supposed to be showing some 2.1 Trillions of dollars as surplus. (The fact remains that perhaps this money has been "borrowed" for any of a number of projects, going all the way back to the Vietnam War.)
But in any case, if Congress borrowed against it, they should admit it and replenish the Social Security fund - and quit pretending, like my Blue Dog Congressman does, that Social Security is contributing to the deficit. it isn't.
Here are two separate ways to reduce the deficit by 2.1 trillion apiece, while leaving the Social Security fund untampered with.
One - immediately end the wars. Period. Savings= 2.1 trillions of dollars.
Two: end the Bush era Tax cuts that Obama extended. Immediate savings= 2.1 trillions of dollars.
Total savings of above: 4.2 trillions of dollars!
Now to accomplish number two - the President and Dems in Congress don't need to do a damn thing.
Pete DeFazio, Democrat Congressman from Oregon, already pointed this out last week. If nothing is done, the Bush era, Obama-extended tax cuts for the Upper Two Percent END on Dec 31st. So we don't even have to worry that the President's "negotiating" skills will be needed.
If those two ideas aren't good enough - here is my final offer. The Bernie Sanders-insisted upon Audit of the Federal Reserve showed that the man Obama re-appointed to the Federal Reserve, one Ben Bernanke, has "loaned out" some 15 to 16 trillions of dollars to his buddies in Big Financial Companies around the world. These monies aren't even considered in the Deficit Discussions, because the way the Fed is handled is very simple - Bernanke can do what he wants to do, and it isn't supposed to affect anyone at all. Bernanke even told the public this during one of the interviews that "Sixty Minutes" undertook a year or two back.
But experts now say that of these 15 to 16 trillions of dollars, some 4.7 trillions will never ever be repaid. So how about the president sitting down in his cozy Oval Office and signing an Executive Order that simply captures these monies from the bank accounts where they are nestled. Our government officials have done this to various other bank accounts, such as Bin Laden's. And even to some national bank accounts. (I believe we have even impounded monies from the state of Iran. And Libya.) So there is precedent.
I doubt that Obama would have the cajones to do this. But it really is most unfair that it come out of the Social Security funds, as those are monies that we and our employers have paid in. In my case, I have been paying into the fund for some 40 years.