Budget talks break down. Seems Dems want to raise taxes - Repubs want to cut spending. We've heard both refrains before.
What happens now? It could be we won't raise the debt limit come August 2. And if we don't increase Washington's credit card limit will the skies fall?
Congress can do what every American household does when it runs short of money - cut spending and quickly.
The current budget request is 3.8-trillion dollars, about a trillion more than estimated federal tax revenues. Cut 10-percent from every department immediately and 25-percent of discretionary spending and you have an immediate savings of 450-plus billion dollars. That is almost enough to pay the approximately 550-billion we shell out to bond holders in interest on the national debt, which means we won't default on the debt that is at the core of our economic crisis.
Then trim the number of federal government departments. Start with the Department of Education which employees 6,000 in it bureaucracy and has a hefty 71-billion dollar budget.
Education is the purview of local communities and states - not the federal government. Republicans have been trying to get rid of this money pit since it was formed under the administration of Jimmy Carter in 1979. No better time than the present.
Another Carter entity, formed in 1977- the Department of Energy - should be allowed to run out of gas and save taxpayers 28-billion annually.
Also ripe for chopping - the Environmental Protection Agency - which was birthed under the Nixon administration in 1970 and costs 12-billion annually to operate.
The nation's strategic oil reserves could be placed solely under the helm of the Defense Department.
States already have environmental agencies. Those agencies can police in-state polluters and work with neighboring states to protect regional environments.
Total savings by eliminating these federal departments - 40,000 fewer federal employees and 111-plus billion in annual monetary savings.
With the Departments of Energy and Environment gone, states could begin issuing permits to drill for oil, coal and natural gas, and maybe, just maybe, we could begin paying considerably less of our precious currency to countries that don't like us and don't share our values. And think of the Americans we could put back on payrolls by just developing more of our God-given energy resources.
If the federal government doesn't get an increase in the debt limit and is forced to cut spending, maybe, just maybe, we won't have to undergo a credit rating downgrade because the Congress and the President would be forced into austerity that might just right our listing economic ship of state.
The secret to maintaining our triple-A credit rating and maintaining the dollar as the world's reserve currency is simple; live within our means and pay down the burgeoning national debt.
Then we can begin to use more favorable tax reform to lure American manufacturing jobs, that went off shore years ago, back to this country and put Americans back on those assembly lines.
It is long past time for lawmakers to begin cutting spending and for Democrats to quit crying wolf.