As President Obama and Congress keep the financial woes of the country locked in partisan politics many are concerned for senior citizens, the handicapped and our military because of threats to stop cutting checks to Social Security, Medicare, and government payrolls.
Wait a minute. There’s a better way. When personal finances get a little tight, do folks cut out basic needs such as food and housing? No. They start cutting the extras, and nobody can legitimately call Social Security an extra or an entitlement. We, and our employers, have paid into it our whole working lives, and if President Lyndon Johnson had just left it alone and not put the money into the General Fund, there would be no shortfall for Social Security.
And to even consider cutting military pay and benefits is an outrage. If the government can’t find a way to pay them, then bring them all home.
So again, I call for cuts at the top of the budget, starting with Congressional benefits that include free healthcare, outrageous salaries and retirement packages, and more paid holidays than the average worker. And by the way, they voted to receive their annual raise this year, while Social Security increases have been frozen because there has been no increase in the cost of living. Or so they say. Obviously, they have not shopped at my supermarket.
Another huge savings could be made if we stopped sending so much aid to other countries. Sure, we should step up when there has been a disaster, but do we have to send billions of dollars? And the billions we are sending to countries that have had no recent disasters – like the funds going to Pakistan – should be stopped. I know we are trying to buy their loyalty, but have we?
Come on, Washington. Be smart about getting us out of this financial mess, and creating more debt is not the answer.