4. Assign all of the revenue increases specifically to pay down the federal debt.
5. These suggestions are reasonable. There are others more stringent such as the Cato Institute which has a proposal to reduce expenditures by $1.2 trillion per year including eliminating completely several government depts., programs and agencies.
Alberto Vega, CPA, Miami
The fiscal cliff could and should be a non-issue but for the DC paralysis. Since those people can’t agree, I thought I’d offer some suggestions.
1. Eliminate the lid on the amount of money taxed for Social Security. If someone is working and fortunate enough to be above the current cap, there’s no reason why they can’t continue paying. When they retire they’ll reap a larger benefit too.
2. Have the federal government stop borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund, or, if it must gradually stop that addiction, let it pay interest on the money borrowed. Social Security was never intended to be part of the federal budget nor Uncle Sam’s piggy bank.
3. Stop raising the age to collect Social Security. The unspoken assumption here is that there will be work for people in the additional year(s). We can see today that there’s a scarcity of jobs and the elderly are particularly affected and that Social Security is the only thing between them and being out in the cold.
4. Take money that’s now being used for war and let it be used as income to offset the expenses that trouble some in Congress so much.
5. Look for efficiencies in government. I bet there’s hardly an American alive that hasn’t experienced government inefficiency.
6. Get rid of tax loopholes. We’ve had a history of corporate welfare that, for some indefensible reason, has been put forward as entrepreneurship. The 47 percent of Americans that Mitt Romney identified are being miscast as “takers.” It’s an untrue and unfair characterization that blames the victim. Enough already!
There are lots more possibilities, but you get the picture. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to redefine it. Let’s stop looking at each other through a zero-sum lens and, instead, develop policies that will be fair, equitable and financial responsible. Unless we begin to focus on solution rather than casting blame, we’re likely to be in this mess for a long time.
Robert F. Tropp, Plantation