With less than two weeks before the great fiscal crisis time bomb clock reaches zero, with hope of a negotiated agreement all but gone, with the right-wing right-wingers screaming, “Let it shut down,” and left-wing left-wingers screaming, “Don’t touch social programs,” it is time for the moderates in both parties to put their heads together and resolve our fiscal crisis.
This is not just any fiscal crisis. This is the making of the greatest world financial crisis ever.
The world will not blame the Republicans or Democrats, the tea party conservatives or the social-liberals. No, the world will blame Americans, all Americans, for this mess.
Why? Because both extremes have gotten greedy. Greed is not a virtue. Paying your fair share is.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said on Fox News Sunday that the only way to fix the problem is by “cutting spending, capping the growth in government and requiring a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution."
Really? No more borrowing to meet the needs of the people?
Let me make this clear: Without government, corporate and personal debt, our national economy would die. More Americans would lose their jobs, the roofs over their heads, food in their refrigerators and gas in their cars.
Our national debt has become extreme. But as any financially responsible business owner and family are aware, serious debt problems are fixed this way: Reduce spending. Increase revenue.
This requires huge across-the-board cuts, even in programs I support — the social safety net programs that are currently saving hundreds of thousands of Americans from financial death. Military cuts will happen, and the Pentagon needs to deal with it.
Nationally, it means testing for Medicare and Medicaid. Strengthen the Welfare to Work programs.
Stop giving corporate welfare to the oil industry. Eliminate tax loopholes, and tax capital gains as income, especially for millionaires and billionaires who pay half the tax rate I do as a tens-of-thousandsaire.
If the president is complaining about corporate jets, why use the presidential 747 to go places like Columbia Regional Airport? Can’t Boeing develop a highly secure 737-900ER for shorter trips?
The list goes on.
Here is my argument for the tax increase on those who can afford to pay:
As the rich get richer and hedge fund operators and futures speculators pay 15 percent capital gains tax, if they pay taxes at all, the job market worsens.
If Reagan’s “trickle-down economics” really worked — if reducing taxes on the wealthy is intended to create jobs — there are no signs of it. Reagan and Clinton both proved that raising taxes creates jobs.
Another possibility is to declare federal bankruptcy, allow the tea party caucus a win and shut the government down.
But this does not meet the “Dead Man” rule — i.e., if a dead man can do it, it is not a solution.
Our own representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and Vicky Hartzler are apparently not helping. Both are co-sponsors of the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011,” H.R. 2560, along with 85 other members of the House, including Missouri RepublicansTodd Akin and Billy Long So being a co-signer only means they are trustworthy members of the party.
In part, H.R. 2560 would require a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution before correcting any of the real problems, and it requires more debt. Everyone agrees it will never get out of the Senate.
Mr. Luetkemeyer — if you are the businessman you say you are — and Ms. Hartzler — if you are the family and consumer sciences educator as you claim — you both know that H.R. 2560 is simply political posturing to placate the right-wing right-wingers in your party.
You need to return to the 80 percent of the GOP that wants you to fix the budget problem, not patch the leaks.
Do it. Do it right. Do it right now.
It is time for the New Silent Majority, the moderate Republicans and Democrats, to stand up and scream, "Enough already!" Then, find a solution.
You will agree to it or you all will be out of a job in the 113th Congress.
David Rosman is an award-winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.com.