I make it a point not to share my opinion too often on this blog. I prefer to present you with information and let you form your own point of view but this whole fiscal cliff deserves some commentary.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: “When you’ve dug yourself a hole the first thing you need to do to get out is stop digging”. This saying sums up the solution so let me share what I believe needs to happen.
The fall from the cliff is going to be painful but it’s a leap we need to take. I have no desire to see entitlement programs like Medicare get overhauled. I obviously have a personal stake because my career is in health care and a shake up of Medicare will ultimately affect me both personally and professionally. I am more concerned that my son’s future will be affected, and limited, if something isn’t done to address our federal debt.
The solution to the federal debt is to allow current tax cuts to expire and allow mandatory spending reductions in defense and entitlement programs to take effect. These are difficult decisions and I’m doubtful that Congress has the backbone to follow through. Instead, Congress will probably try to cut back on discretionary spending but the only solution to our problems are a combination of tax increases and cuts in big money programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and defense.
I don’t want to pay more taxes and I don’t want to see health care spending decrease but I also don’t want my son to pay my debts and have his future limited. We seem to have the mindset in Washington that we can keep borrowing forever and continue to run up the national debt but the truth is there will be a day when someone says to us “It’s time to pay off your note”. Every day we wait the note gets bigger and the solution gets harder.
Looking over the edge of the cliff is scary and the leap will be even scarier but it’s time we join hands and take a leap of faith. Solving our federal debt and spending problem is no different than controlling the expenses in our own households. When things get tight in your home you do two things 1) you work more or harder, maybe even get a second or third job to raise more money 2) you reduce spending.
The solution to the “fiscal cliff” is the same. We need to raise more money by increasing taxes and we need to spend less money on those programs that cost us the most. Geronimo!