If you've been watching cable news and the various pundits you get the impression that the present dilemma we find ourselves in as a nation regarding deficits and budget cuts are all about having to make cuts in programs that affect us and that we don't want because we are greedy. Somehow, the American public is portrayed as the "bad" guy and all these politicians are really the "good" guys. But nowhere do I see a Pol that asks the question "Would you accept cuts to Social Security if you saw the elite first taking some obvious cuts before?" In other words, would we common people accept cuts in our benefits if it was obvious that everyone in our community, business, executives, politicians, stock brokers, etc. would take some big hits to their position first.
Accepting the proposition that we as a country are in dire financial straits and have to put our house in order if we are to survive shouldn't we put a list up of who has the most and who can afford some "cuts"? Let us examine big business. When I was in the banking community it became obvious that many never actually paid taxes that we didn't want to pay. Accounting rules allow business to show taxes due but IRS rules allow different standards as long as the differences are reconciled. This leads to "Deferred Taxes" on the Balance Sheet and these taxes are deferred as long as the business desires. Most large US Business pay little taxes despite what the Balance Sheet Shows. Of course this leads to greater profits which can be disbursed first to their executives and then to shareholders or speculators who play the stock market but lately provide very little domestic jobs. The companies and those who they enrich should be placed on the list to determine if proposed "cuts" should come from them. The last I heard the Bush tax cuts were extended and we are afraid of increasing taxes on business because of the sham of them paying "too high of a tax rate".
The defense budget appears to have waste according to Secretary Gates but the Republicans refuse to make any cuts that were suggested. Could it be that the towns and companies they represent are benefiting from this spending and then of course so are they personally? Maybe it is time to rethink the wars we are actively fighting and pull our troops home. By the way we have troops in Germany, Korea, all over the world just being stationed there to help their economies, it seems, since in most cases there really isn't a threat that is omnipresent as in the days of the cold war. Our presence could still be maintained but at a minimal cost.
I am suggesting that for once we prioritize according to who has the most and who who has the least examine what they have and how they obtained it and then look at ways revenue could be gotten though taxes and cut backs of benefits given. OMG am I talking about redistribution of wealth? Could be. We've gotten into this situation because we have redistributed our wealth from the very beginning. Adam Smith's invisible hand works in theory but in practice we've never really had free enterprise. The Robber Barons of old manipulated the laws and made millions by raping the poor paying little for millions of dollars, when millions meant something. The upper crust managed to control the politicians so that laws favored them and their business. Even wars became a profit center or why did you think President Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex? The wealth of this country has been redistributed to those in control and they mean to keep it while they try to push the middle class in to the poor class and the redistribution of wealth goes even more to them than they already have.
OK, here's what I am proposing. The Polls and the pundits who seem to be saying everybody wants cuts to cut the deficit and balance the budget but do not want any cuts that affect their benefits. should set up a list of what can be cut and taxed, in a list. Examine who can least afford these measures and set it up in a descending manner with the cuts and taxes that can be done with the least amount of hurt down to the most hurt. Then institute the cuts and taxes and when the Business, executives, politicians, and their ilk take their cuts and taxes for once I will be ready to cut Social Security if by then it needs to be. Oh, and by the way, if President Johnson never had Social Security classified into the General Fund so the government couldn't raid it and leave useless paper, Social Security would still be OK today.