The Republican Study Committee, which is composed of 170 conservative congressmen, has published its budget plan, which differs from Paul Ryan’s plan.

The highlights, per John Stossel:

Their plan would balance the budget in just eight years, with reforms like these:

-Raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and Social Security from 67 to 70. It’s phased in gradually – two months are added every year – and those currently over age 60 are unaffected.
-Reduce the federal workforce by 15 percent, through attrition
-Sell five percent of federal lands and assets
-End extended unemployment benefits
-Reduce farm subsidies by $6 billion a year
-Eliminate the presidential election campaign fund
-Repeal Obamacare

As for me, this still does not go far enough. If we are convinced as a society we must have Social security and Medicare, which is another argument altogether, this is only a short-term fix. The long-term solution is to index the benefit age for each program to life expectancy. Additionally, the scheduled benefit payout calculation for social security must be changed. Essentially, it is based on the average of American incomes today. However, the income distribution is terribly right skewed. The solution is to base the payout calculation on the median American income.

Further, as Stossel also pointed out, this budget proposal does not include any military spending cuts, which are also necessary to get our budget crisis under control.

Look at it this way:

Let’s say you make $2,174 per month. You pay $738 for rent, $738 for your car payment, $879 for your wife’s car payment, and $251 in minimum payments on your credit cards to maintain your $14,280 of previously accumulated debt. This totals $2,606 in payments. So, to make due, you withdraw cash advances on your credit cards every month to cover the remaining $432. Additionally, you spend $1,213 each month on “discretionary” items such as food, entertainment, clothing and services. Add it all up and your total monthly expenditures are $3,819.

Further, you live in an area where rent expenses increase significantly each year. You made an even poorer decision on financing your cars. Both are financed with loans where the payments are structured to increase substantially each year.

Should you cut your spending? If so, what should you cut?

This problem is real, substantial, and can no longer be ignored by you.

You are the federal government of the United States of America.

Add nine zeros to every number and this scenario is federal government’s annual budget for 2011.

Fed Budget

Comments