Speaker Boehner, lets get real here, entitlement reforms are your negotiating position in the tit-for-tat negotiations? No wonder you are getting your ass handed to you.
Trust me I’m all for entitlement reforms, but its too serious an issue to be handled in a six week period of crisis negotiating. I want a concerted effort put in by the entire Congress to hammer out real reforms like converting Social Security, and in fact all public employee pensions into Defined Contribution Plans owned by the citizens. There is a clear example here, the Government through the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation a GSE, has been converting private businesses from Defined Benefit Pension plans to 401K Defined Contribution Plans for the past 40 years, because they are unsustainable.
A Debt Ceiling increase in exchange for a 30% headcount reduction of Federal Employees with an immediate hiring freeze everywhere except the Presidents Cabinet and the US Military. That’s a winning negotiating position. The effects are immediate the savings substantial.
The savings will multiple when various departments have to put economy killing regulatory actions aside because the employees pushing it are no longer employed. Other departments such as the Department of Education will have to consider just issuing straight education grants to the States, cutback on their overreach into the States business.
Speaker Boehner, Minority Senate Leader McConnell, show the American people you are serious, pick a serious but accomplishable goal, and don’t back down. The Headcount reduction is a really good issue because it fits so well with the closure of the government when they run out of money by March 1st. The closure will provide proof that you can run the government with far fewer employees, strengthening your negotiating position.
Work Hard Have Fun!
As recomended by a reader I sent this Editorial to Senator Ayotte. Below is her reply.
January 16, 2013
Dear Mr. DeMaura:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the serious fiscal crisis facing our country. I appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, on January 1, 2013, both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8). H.R. 8, also known as the "fiscal cliff bill," stops a tax increase for 99 percent of taxpayers and makes permanent nearly 90 percent of the federal personal income tax policy that has been in effect for the last decade. Failure to pass this bill would have guaranteed tax increases for virtually all Americans and small businesses. While the president was insistent on raising taxes, I voted to spare as many Americans as possible from getting hit by tax increases.
Unfortunately, while the fiscal cliff negotiation produced last minute legislation to avert tax increases for most Americans, it did not result in legislation to address our unsustainable fiscal path. When I came to the Senate, I knew Congress was broken. However, nothing could have prepared me for the absurd level of government dysfunction I have witnessed during the first two years of my term. Most Americans would be surprised to learn that the president is about to miss - for the fourth time - the statutory deadline to submit his budget proposal. Many would also be surprised to learn that the Senate majority has refused to pass a statutorily required budget resolution for the past three years and is poised not to pass a budget for a fourth consecutive year. And last year, the Senate did not pass a single one of its twelve annual appropriations bills, and has regularly relied on a series of short-term continuing resolutions and pork-filled omnibus spending packages to fund the government. Put simply, this is no way to run a government or to get our nation's spending under control.
That is why I have supported numerous legislative efforts to force Congress to fulfill its most basic budgetary obligations. Last year, I cosponsored the bipartisan "No Budget, No Pay Act," which would have docked pay for Members of Congress for failure to pass a budget resolution and regular appropriations bills before the start of the federal fiscal year. I also introduced a bipartisan bill with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) that would have prohibited Congress from considering any legislation unless a budget resolution is passed by the April 15 deadline. Once the Senate returns for the 113th Congress, I will introduce legislation that will prohibit a pay raise for Members of Congress during any year in which there is a federal deficit, and my bill will also extend the current pay freeze for senior executive branch officials.
Now it's time for the president and Congress to cut spending and come up with real reforms to put an end to our trillion dollar deficits, rein in our crippling $16.4 trillion debt, and prevent our nation from going bankrupt. In the coming weeks and months, our country will face more fiscal challenges as we reach the debt limit, as the current Continuing Resolution funding the government expires, and as massive across-the-board spending cuts (known as sequestration) to defense and non-defense programs are triggered. The confluence of these events represent an opportunity to put our country on a responsible financial path. We can prevent a fiscal crisis without harming our economy, but it will take bipartisan cooperation to get there.
Right now, America's gross debt is the size of the nation's annual economic output. This debt level is already past the point where economists warn of dramatically diminished economic prospects, including lower job growth and fewer economic opportunities. Taking bold action to reduce our debt would send a strong message that would help to reassure financial markets and prevent additional credit downgrades. That is why I joined a bipartisan coalition of 45 senators to call on the president to pursue a "go big" approach to deficit reduction efforts.
No effort to address our fiscal crisis can be taken seriously unless it includes structural reforms to preserve entitlements, which represent the primary drivers of America's long-term, runaway debt. In fact, the non-partisan trustees in charge of Medicare and Social Security say that the programs are headed for insolvency as early as 2024 and 2033, respectively. Seniors like my grandparents depend on Medicare and Social Security for a dignified retirement. It is up to us to ensure that these programs are there for future beneficiaries, and we can reform these programs without impacting current beneficiaries or those nearing retirement. One thing is clear: doing nothing is not an option.
In addition, one of the most important steps we can take to get our economy moving is to reform our complex tax code. Simplifying and modernizing our tax system will help improve efficiency and generate revenue through growth.
We face a defining moment, and our response will determine whether America prospers in the future or crumbles under a mountain of debt. It will take courage to address the serious fiscal challenges our country faces, but Americans come together to solve tough problems. The time has come for our elected leaders to stop looking the other way when it comes to making the difficult decisions needed to get our fiscal house in order. The American people deserve nothing less.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your Senator, it is important for me to hear from you regarding the current issues facing our nation. Please do not hesitate to be in touch again if I may be of further assistance.
Kelly A. Ayotte
U. S. Senator