And I forgot that I said I would come back to it.
Here’s the thing I really don’t get. Democrats are angry with President Obama for agreeing to spending cuts. Republicans are angry with him for not cutting enough. Sorry, Democrats, but you’re missing something. Like a family on a budget, sometimes you have to spend a little less on things that you want to spend money on in addition to not letting the kids keep all of their allowance. Sorry, Republicans, not everything can be cut all at once. You also can’t ask Mom and Dad to stop spending money on certain things yet keep all of your own money. (Considering the financial situation my own parents are in, if I could send them money, I would.) Personally, if I found next year that my tuition deduction didn’t give me as much of a refund as last year, I would not complain. The fact of the matter is, none of us pay what we’re legally supposed to in taxes. Could some of us use the help? Yes. Do we take that help for granted? Absolutely. The problem with saying taxes would be raised is that they wouldn’t be. What is being called “raising taxes” is actually reducing or ending deductions or putting tax rates back where they were before they were cut. I don’t think anyone is suggesting raising the rates higher than they were before. While I don’t necessarily advocates raising everything back to what it was a decade ago, I also know that the government can’t afford what it is giving us. The whole concept of “let’s spend billions on programs…but let’s give people a break on their taxes” just doesn’t work. As radical as it sounds, I have a feeling that in order to reduce the deficit, it won’t be just the rich that will have to give up their tax breaks.
Why is it such a bad thing that President Obama is agreeing with Republicans that spending needs to be cut? I think we all agree that we can’t keep spending at the level at which we’re currently spending. While I disagree with simply cutting out Medicare, which is basically what Sen. Ryan wants to do, I agree that drastic cuts in spending are necessary to at least keep the deficit at bay. I also disagree with raising the debt ceiling. We’ve already dug ourselves into a hole that will likely take us decades to get out of. Do I think the ceiling will be raised? Yes. Do I have any other solution? No. What we need to do is cut defense spending…by a LOT. Cutting some funding for every program is painful but necessary. While I have railed against cutting all funding for Planned Parenthood, partially because it is based on ideology, not on saving money, I would not be opposed to given them less. Going back to defense, we don’t need new weapons. We need to refine and even scale back what we already have. We need to start bringing our troops home and stop getting involved in other battles.
I have class so more on this later…
Congress passed another extension last night to avoid a shutdown. So Congress now has until Friday to finalize a budget. As good as this is for federal employees, our troops and those who rely on government services (whether they should be or not is a topic for a later blog), I was actually in favor of a shutdown. It would have shown the Tea Party that they do not run the country. It would have shown Rep. Boehner that maybe trying to placate the Tea Party isn’t such a good idea. It would have shown that Congressional Democrats and President Obama are actually not surrendering to Republicans. I am glad, though, that Republicans gave up, at least for now, on their attack on women’s health. While I’m not happy that part of the compromise meant Senate Democrats agreeing to vote on the health care repeal, I don’t think it will actually pass the Senate. Even if it does, I highly doubt the president will sign a bill repealing his biggest achievement. Frankly, I don’t think the achievement of the health care bill is the content of it. I more think it’s the fact that it passed. But I digress. My question is, how do we know they will reach a deal on the budget in another week? After all, they’ve been squabbling over this for months. What I am celebrating is that the Democrats got the Republicans to back down. What I am celebrating is that both sides are working together. What I am celebrating is that it looks like they might finally be realizing “okay maybe we actually have to give a little here in order to get a little there”. What I am not celebrating is that it took so long to get here. What I am not celebrating is the shutdown being officially averted. When we have an actual budget, then I will celebrate.
So instead of posting constant statuses on Facebook and having my phone blown up with a ton of comments, I’m starting a blog. This is not a diary. I’m just venting on here. I welcome commentary and CIVIL discussion. If you start attacking each other, your comments WILL be deleted. I fully admit that I am not as informed as I should be, but I’m working on it. So read if you want, discuss if you want, but keep it clean and keep the tone down.