Values, What’s That

The tiny compromise being hailed in Washington as a gridlock break through offers two thought provoking parts.  In order to meet conservative demands for a reduction in government spending and no new taxes thereby lowering the deficit, and Democrat demands for sequestration relief, the “tiny compromise does increase government spending in certain sequestration areas.  What?  How could this be possible?

Congress found areas where it could “generate” revenue to offset the increased spending.  Two contributors to offsetting this increased spending were (1) a reduction in pension payments to former military members who were less than 65, and (2) elimination of long term unemployment benefits (up to 99 weeks) for those who had already received 26 weeks of benefits.

Former military members who receive a pension for their service, to a large extent, have found other employment following their military service.  These Americans are able to receive both a pay check and a pension check.  A small reduction in their military pension may not be so burdensome in light of the person’s total income.  (It is another question on what basis is it fair to change the pension rules during the game.)

The absence of long term unemployment benefits is a more complex question.  It must be assumed that long term benefits were a temporary measure (introduced first during the great depression and more recently again by President Bush).  Not extending these emergency benefits might seem appropriate given the recovering economy and the psychology that no benefits  more strongly encourages the unemployed to find work.  Hmmm.  Not clear what is the more prudent policy.

But what jumps out is that there are a zillion taxes and fees that could be imposed which take into account the widening income distribution gap and the consumption of goods and services.  In other words, Congress could have asked those who could afford to pay to do their part while those who have served the country or who are stuck in the 26 to 99 gap to get a pass.

The tiny compromise while probably the best that could be expected in an election year does little to focus on the greater issue of Medicare and Medicaid funding.  Screw the retired military members and the long term unemployed.  I trust Congress will have a wonderful and merry Christmas confident that they have served the Country well.


Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: