The credit rating agency S&P that downgraded the American credit rating for the first time in history has laid a framework for how America can be AAA again. First, they understand that spending cuts don’t really address the unfunded liabilities of our government. If we are going to decrease our deficit we have to fund or decrease our long-term unfunded liabilities. These liabilities include entitlement spending in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But, one must remember that Social Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit, and only in 2037 will any beneficiary see a decrease on benefits; 25% decrease. But, the gap between what Social Security bring in, and what it pays out to its members will NOT add one dime to the deficit, or debt. That is fact. S%P has said that he need entitlement reform, and that we need to raise taxes. The most important thing that the credit agency said that will do the most to solve our debt problems strengthen the economy. The cuts only approach is bad for our country because the proposal passed by Congress this August will only hinder economic growth; by a projected net decrease of 1.8 million jobs. Loosing those jobs will increase the deficit, and decrease growth to -1%. Those Republicans are showing they are pro-grwoth; even though the legislation they’ve passed and have tried to pass this year will make the economy worse. Yes, the credit rating agency S&P made a mistake downgrading America. The treasury bond is still the safest investment next to gold, but they were right to call out politicians who are saying we can’t address taxes or entitlements. With with this downgrade the Republicans should be put to rest. Hundreds of respectable Republicans and economists from around this country have said that taxes must be a part of this plan. Republicans have to stop playing this game. Why should the poor be asked to sacrifice even more than they already have throughout this recession. Tax along can solve our fiscal problems. We need to stop the war on the poor and middle class. and start a war with the true reason why we’re in this situation; the wars, the rich, the banking system, fraudulent trade deals, and profit-making corporations. We must bring trust busting back.
As a progressive here’s how we can save our entitlement programs. On Medicare the government can negotiate drug prices under the Medicare Part D law. THe rich can pay more into the system by a 4% surtax. Rich seniors by law will still be required to pay into the system, but they will receive less, and more benefits will go to poorer seniors; they people who need this healthcare. Allow all citizens to pay into a Medicare system which will take the burden off the system. THis program would b like a public option; if you want what Republicans call a “government, socialist, horrible, governmental take-over, rationing” health insurance plan you will have that choose. This government insurance option could be taken by individuals, but they could also continue receiving their insurance on the private market. On Social Security you could tax 90% of income. Tighten up disabilities pay. Anyone who is disabled should have full access to the SSI system, but if you’re frading the system and taking free money that practiced must be stopped. Every program should be means tested; if you’re rich, and can survived without these programs you don’t need to depend on the government. Improving the economy will have the biggest effect on reducing Medicaid costs, because if the economy gets better and more jobs are created many fewer citizens will need this program. These proposols are just a start, but a general framework of a plan must make sure that these prorgrams allow the poor a better chance. Also, in both of these government programs the government needs to bundle funds; meaning that the government will pay for someone getting healthier rather than for services. The days of fee for service in the medical field need to end! Any entitlement reforms in the eyes of the Progressives should;
1. Not privatized any part of the programs.
2. Increase benefits to the individuals who need them most.
3. Increase the amount that the rich pay into the system.
4. Make healthcare cost for everyone go down.
5. Make the system fairer for everyone.
6. Extend for at least 50-75 years the solvency on these programs.
7. Increase the taxable income on Social Security.
8. Close the Social Security trust fund to congressional spending. End congressmen and women taking money out of these trust funds.
S&P is correct on their assessment on how we should reduce the debt, and I hope Republicans soon wake up to the facts and what 80% of the American people say; the rich must pay more.