Saturday, July 23, 2011


Austerity Program

We must get serious and take the hits needed!

Looks to me like we need a real Austerity Program for possibly as long as 10 years, depending on the economic level we can reach. This means cuts in spending of about 10% per year each year of the program, with every sector taking a real hit, except debt service. If the economy rises substantially in the meanwhile, rescaling some of these reductions could take place, and national debt reductions could be significant.

It should also mean rooting out fraud and abuse across the board, eliminating a number of expensive but "nice to have" government services, eliminating many donations to foreign nations, and reducing our overseas forces to a minimum. Many advanced weapons systems would have to be put on a "go slow" or even canceled outright until our economy recovers sufficiently to afford them. This could mean a very serious reduction in our military spread over the ten years, again, unless economic activity heats up substantially much sooner.

The Solomon's choices residing in Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and Social Security will have to be made in order to reduce both their outlays and their entitlements very substantially. This will be the most probable area of failure of our system to cope. I am not sure what means testing would do for Medicare, but it should be explored. Raising the elegibility level for SS to 68 or 69 may help, but other reductions will be needed.

I am sure that eliminating costly restrictions on exploration, production, and use of our oil, coal, and natural gas would have a strong economic benefit too. Perhaps the EPA needs to be scaled back substantially in its efforts to strangle our economy for the benefit of desert bugs and forest beetles while loading our energy sector with massive costs we now cannot afford.

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