Only 1 out of 24 network evening stories about the Wisconsin “feud” since Feb. 16, reported a critical number relating to union pensions: $1 trillion. That’s the huge deficit facing public workers’ pensions in America and the reason Walker and other state governors are facing tough choices including demanding public workers contribute more.
ABC’s Barbara Pinto reported on the “looming crisis” on “World News” Feb. 21, the sixth night of coverage. Pinto said: “[P]ension plans for America’s public workers that are underfunded by at least a trillion dollars. Finance professor Joshua Rauh thinks the debt could be at least three times as much.”
She then quoted Rauh who said, “The only people who can pay for this are current taxpayers, future taxpayers, public employees, if their benefits are cut.” (MRC)
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. walked out of Thursday’s high-stakes negotiations to stop a government shutdown and said the conversations will continue — but he won’t actually be part of them since he leaves this weekend for major negotiations with European leaders.
President Obama on Wednesday tapped Mr. Biden, his “sheriff” on the stimulus, to lead negotiations with Congress, though Mr. Biden already had a prearranged trip scheduled to visit Finland, Russia and Moldova next week.
Sure I always put the guy who’s going on off for a week in charge of a 2 week do-or-die strategy meeting!!
Oh, and the Democrats are measuring their “cuts” against the 2010 Budget they refused to pass last year!!
God Help us all!
So Let’s Talk Ideas for a moment:
Today, the federal government spends almost $10 billion per day. That’s money we simply do not have. Reckless spending and reduced revenues from the economic recession have produced the largest deficits in U.S. history — $1.4 trillion in 2009 and $1.5 trillion in 2010. That means almost $3 trillion has been added to the nation’s total debt in just two years.
Based on current spending levels, the public debt will total $20 trillion by 2020. That’s $20,000,000,000,000.
The federal government pays over $600 million in interest payments every working day. By 2020, when the public debt is $20 trillion, the annual interest payment will be almost $1 trillion — the largest single item in the entire federal budget.
That means that more will be spent on paying the interest on the debt than on our children’s education or our nation’s defense.
What is the One Cent Solution?
The One Cent Solution is simple: If the government cuts one cent out of every dollar of its total spending each year for five years, we can:
- Balance the budget by 2018.
- Reduce the debt by $2.6 trillion. That’s $2,600,000,000,000.
- Restore America’s financial future.
The One Cent Solution envisions that while all areas of federal spending should be considered, some programs may be too critical to cut deeply. In that case, other programs must be reduced more so that the total amount cut is equal to one cent for every dollar each year for five years.
For a simple example, let’s say the federal budget only had three programs funded, each with an annual budget of just $1.00.
- Program A is simply cut by one cent every year for five years. That means the annual budget for Program A is $0.99 in 2012, and then $0.98, $0.97, $0.96, and finally $0.95.
- However, no cuts may be recommended for Program B. It is already lean.
- But then, Program C would have to be cut by two cents each year for five years so that the total federal budget is cut by one cent for every total dollar, for a balanced budget by 2018.
The One Cent Solution contains three key distinctive elements.
The Three Keys
1. A Plan that Works
The One Cent Solution gradually reduces total government spending by making cuts equal to one cent of every dollar each year for five years. This simple solution balances the budget by 2018, reduces the debt by $2.6 trillion and restores America’s financial future.
2. Legislative Strategy
To achieve the necessary spending reductions, the One Cent Solution calls for legislation that would impose strict caps on total government spending. Congress would be required to enact reforms to all spending programs, either by creating a special Commission or by the “regular order” of business, working through the appropriate committee structures. Although some programs may be cut more than 1% and some less, total government spending must be cut by 1% each year for five years. If Congress fails to enact the needed reforms, then the legislation would require mandatory, “across the board” 1% spending cuts to bring spending reductions into line with the One Cent Solution requirements.
Last year, President Obama created a debt commission to recommend spending cuts and tax increases. Little agreement was reached, and no action has been taken. The One Cent Solution is different. Here’s how:
3. Public Support
As citizens, we must own the problem. It’s just not right for us to pass on this debt to our children and grandchildren. Tough decisions are ahead. The key to balancing the budget and reducing the national debt is you.
If we sign on 1 million citizens with representation from every congressional district, we can get Congress to focus on this solution and give them the political will to act. The One Cent Solution is a true American grassroots movement, started by citizens who believe good ideas can originate outside of Washington.
Through the One Cent Solution campaign, we are not only insisting upon action, we are providing a nonpartisan, simple, equitable way to get the job done.
Why not try simple and fair 🙂
It’s got to be better than over-complicated and political. No favoritism.
Just hard choices.
I’ve never said that cutting federal spending won’t be difficult, but making difficult decisions is what we elected our members of Congress to do, and we need them to act now to avoid disaster later. The One Cent Solution provides some flexibility in arriving at our target of cutting one cent out of every federal dollar spent, each year for five years, but as cuts are considered, everything must be on the table. I say that because, as Politico has pointed out below, many people think that we can achieve adequate savings by cutting waste, fraud and abuse…or going after defense spending.
I agree with those objectives, but spending will have to be widespread to be effective. Read on to see how popular belief and reality can part ways.
Misconception: 63 percent believe the federal government spends more on defense and foreign aid than it does on Medicare and Social Security. (Source: Tarrance Group, February 22-24, 2011)
Reality: “In fiscal 2010, spending for those two social programs totaled more than $1.1 trillion, while the Pentagon’s budget was about $660 billion and the State Department’s total spending was just under $52 billion.” (Source: Politico)
Misconception: 60 percent believe problems with the federal budget can be fixed by just eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. (Source: Tarrance Group, February 22-24, 2011)
Reality: “The Government Accountability Office on Tuesday released a report detailing several billion dollars’ worth of “duplication” in government spending that could be cut. But even if the totals reach the tens of billions of dollars, they would still be a drop in the bucket of President Obama’s proposed $3.73 trillion in spending for fiscal 2012.” (Source: Politico)
The General Accounting Office released a report yesterday that identifies an estimated $100 million to $200 million in duplicative spending. Imagine: we have 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality! Considering we just found hundreds of millions of dollars under the U.S. couch cushions, I am more convinced than ever that Congress can reduce each federal dollar spent by one penny each year for the next five years — cuts that lead to a balanced budget and $2.6 trillion of debt relief without raising taxes.
School districts had total expenditures of approximately $562.3 billion in 2006–07, including about $476.8 billion in current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education. Of the remaining expenditures, $62.9 billion was spent on capital outlay, $14.7 billion on interest payments on debt, and $7.8 billion on other programs (programs such as community services and adult education, which are not a part of public elementary and secondary education). SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010).
But yet we have illiterate and uninformed students graduating and we have Unions with unfunded mandates that stretch into the Trillions of dollars.
Do you think there’s a problem here?
Zogby Poll: Do you believe the country is heading in the right direction or are things off on the wrong track? (FYI: “right direction” has been in free fall since Sept ’09- the height of the Obamacare debate)
Right Direction Wrong Track Not Sure
02-28-11 27 60 13
There is also the “roadmap” created by Sen. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at http://www.roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/
But I’m afraid all you’ll hear on the Liberal News Media is the Hysterical Left screaming like they a 1st degree sunburn and all you want to do is heal them but all they want to do is scream that you’re hurting and killing them!
Charlie Sheen Economics