At first, the deficit reduction proposal by the Gang of Six seemed a bit heartless and cruel. But then I read that we must urgently address our 10- year-old debt, or else SADDLE untold generations to come with CRUSHING DEBT. I was surprised to note that so many elected leaders, pundits, and activists diagnosed the exact same emergency and identified the exact same reason for the urgent problem, using the exact same language. Clearly, I was wrong. I see now, that the Gang's proposal doesn’t go far enough. Some examples:
The Gang's plan calls for reductions in cost of living adjustments for Social Security benefits.
If ever there was a public policy issue that demanded immediate and drastic action, it is a program that will be financially strong for the next 25 years if we do absolutely nothing. Like Social Security. We can do more than merely reduce COLA adjustments. Why not also raise the retirement age? What’s so special about 67? Let’s raise it to 97. Then we can all breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that we have saved this crucial piece of the social safety net for decades to come.
The Gang's plan calls for cuts to health care programs.
Again, what else can we do to rescue our unborn grandchildren from unfairly being saddled with crushing debt? We can generate revenue by promoting personal responsibility. Some examples:
- We can impose fines on people who visit the emergency room. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. If you don’t eat your apple, why should I have to pay?
- We can create a “Pound of Flesh Penalty”: Police officers can issue tickets to people they decide are overweight; the amount of the fine would depend on the number of excess pounds, as determined by the officer.
The Gang's plan calls for slashing Medicare.
We must do more. Here too, we can raise the eligibility age to 97. And we can come up with alternatives to Medicare for seniors not old enough to qualify. The people at Fox and Friends have suggested that pap smears, mammograms, etc. are available at Walgreen’s. Yes, I know they were confused; but still, why not have people between 65 and 97 get their pap smears at Walgreen’s? And pay with chickens (as former Nevada candidate for U.S. Senate, Sue Lowden, has proposed)?
The Gang's plan calls for cuts to military spending.
Rather than cutting military spending, we should increase it. It’s only a matter of time before our leaders will decide that we need to wage war on another country. And that’s going to require more troops, which will cost more money.
Yes, it seems like we’re adding to the deficit, but we’re not! We are reducing it... just like we are :
- Saving Social Security by attacking what makes it helpful to seniors and people with disabilities,
- Protecting the integrity of our election process by making it harder to vote for people who: are not white, don’t have a driver’s license, attend an out-of-state college, can’t take time off of work to register to vote or get an official ID,...
- Helping our children to learn by gutting public education, and
- Enhancing our national security via military campaigns targeting 6 different countries.
No, we won’t need to re-institute the draft. Instead, we can raise military enlistment age limits to, say, 97 years. Think of all the people who would enlist for the health care.