Las Vegas Sun

February 27, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Congress can’t do it; let someone else

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All this hoopla over the federal budget sequester is totally unnecessary. Give me two congressional staffers familiar with the budgeting process, four people with high school math skills and five working days. We will come up with a plan that will result in no layoffs, no furloughs, no reduction in security or defense capability, and no cuts in any public services of any kind. It will be easy and painless.

And in return for performing this noble public service, all I request in return is a measly $2 million honorarium. This is a bargain — not even one-tenth of 1 percent of the amount to be sequestered. I shall be standing by, ready to serve.

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  1. Here's how budgets work. You have a budget to accomplish 2 things. Build statues of Benedict Arnold and provide food and aid to the homeless. The government cuts your budget in half. What do you cut? Simple: The aid to the homeless. Why? Because you want your budget restored and if you cut out statues to Bendict Arnold, no one will miss them. The objective of managing budget cuts is to wreak the most public outrage as possible. Any Congressional staffer, even summer intern, will tell you the same, or be cut.


  2. Mr. Moldenhauer is correct in that his approach to spending reductions is surgical rather that across the board.

    Most Americans could not accurately tell you where the Federal Government spends money.

    I've seen polls that show 70% of those that align themselves with the Tea Party favor leaving Social Security and Medicare alone. I have a neighbor who says he is a Tea Partier and is adamant that eliminating Congressional earmarks and foreign aid will solve half the budget deficit problem.

    We don't have a problem that is 100% spending. We don't have a problem that is 100% revenue. We have a deficit problem and it will take shared sacrifice from all of us to solve it.

    Which party will be the first to campaign on the platform of shared sacrifice? Stay tuned.

  3. What polls have you seen Jim and when were they done and what methodology was used? Were they legitimate? How do you know? Does your neighbor know what portion of the budget foreign aid even is?

  4. About that Ryan budget:

    "That was made clear on Tuesday when the House Budget Committee chairman, Representative Paul Ryan, unveiled his 2014 spending plan: a retread of ideas that voters soundly rejected, made even worse, if possible, by sharper cuts to vital services and more dishonest tax provisions.

    The budget, which will surely fly through the House, was quickly praised as "serious" and job-creating by the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, though it is neither. By cutting $4.6 trillion from spending over the next decade, it would reverse the country's nascent economic growth, kill millions of real and potential jobs, and deprive those suffering the most of social assistance.

    All the tired ideas from 2011 and 2012 are back: eliminating Medicare's guarantee to retirees by turning it into a voucher plan; dispensing with Medicaid and food stamps by turning them into block grants for states to cut freely; repealing most of the reforms to health care and Wall Street; shrinking beyond recognition the federal role in education, job training, transportation and scientific and medical research. The public opinion of these callous proposals was made clear in the fall election, but Mr. Ryan is too ideologically fervid to have learned that lesson."

  5. Comment removed by moderator. Name Calling

  6. mschaffer -

    Two McClatchy-Marist Institute for Public Opinion polls taken in 2011 during the debt limit fight. Have you seen any polls that differ?

    Of course my neighbor doen't know what portion of the Federal Budget is foreign aid. I used it to illustrate my point that most Americans don't know where the Government spends money.

  7. It can be done, THEY just see no incentive in DOING WHAT IS RIGHT for AMERICANS. They're preoccupied with what is "right" for other nations, illegals, the world they'd like us to be in with no pragmatic concept of where we are. We simply must BALANCE the budget quickly, not in 10 years. We must get the federal government out of all sorts of businesses, industries, charities that are NOT authorized in the Constitution. That alone would allow our economy to refocus on what people are willing to pay for--with THEIR EARNINGS not someone else's tax contributions.

  8. Hello Jim,
    That seems like credible polling organization. Are Tea Partiers even more clueless than I thought Jim?

  9. The simple fact is that we borrow about 40 cents of every dollar spent. Simple math shows that revenue must increase by 66.6% to eliminate that if no cuts are involved. (Given a need for $100 total and $60 current revenue, $60 x X = $100, X = 1.66, or a two-thirds increase.)

    Factor in that we have a balance of trade deficit that roughly equal to the rest of the world *combined* and it should be clear that any proposed solution must include our foreign trade policy.

  10. James: Every problem has at least one solution that is simple, logical, cheap, and WRONG!

  11. Treasury too rough there's the self dealers !