While the government and the media debate the pros and cons of President Obama’s and Congressman Ryan’s competing deficit reduction plans, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post suggests another possibility. Do nothing.
That’s right. Do nothing to address the deficit and growing national debt!
Using a graph based on the Congressional Budget Office’s September numbers, Klein shows what will happen if Congress fails to act. Our national budget would begin to balance itself in two years. And despite the so-called “crises” of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, the budget would remain balanced into the forseeable future.
Given the doom and gloom scenarios of the teabaggers and their Republican allies, how is this possible?
It’s the result of allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of their 2-year extension, implementing the program that changes the way doctor payments are handled in Medicare, and allowing the Affordable Care Act (so-called Obamacare) to be fully implemented.
That’s it! No privatizing Social Security, no ending Medicaid and no changing Medicare to a voucher system that will likely drive up the cost of health care while dramatically adding to the insurance industry’s bottom line. All we have to do is keep the politicians from further messing things up! (Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if we could stop bleeding money and lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s estimated that those wars have already cost us as much as $3 trillion. A number that’s increasing by the day.)
Remember this as the debate over the deficit escalates between now and the 2012 election. The choice is likely to be between a Republican plan of pulling the safety nets out from under our most vulnerable citizens while lining the pockets of the wealthy. Or enacting President Obama’s plan which will reduce the deficit while continuing to care for the poor, the sick and the elderly. Or doing nothing and returning to Clinton-era tax rates.Personally, I vote for one of the last two options. After all, unless my memory fails me, the decade of the 90s was prosperous for most everyone. Not just the super-wealthy.