Well, let's see . . .
The Timothy Geithner-imposed deadline of August 2 to increase the debt limit is one day closer and the Republican-controlled House passed a debt reduction bill that (a) the Senate won't pass and, even if it did, (b) the President wouldn't sign.
If there are 308 million people in America, count me among the 307,999,993 who don't understand why this is so hard.
I assume there are seven people who get it.
No one thinks the federal government is spending too little money. The problem is, most of us think the government is spending too much money on programs which benefit someone else.
In a little under six months I will turn 65 and will be able to claim the senior discount at Harry Potter movies; be able to get in line for the early-bird meat loaf special at almost every restaurant in Florida; and, what else? Oh, yes, I will be eligible for Medicare.
I have no idea how Medicare works, and I have private health insurance but I will tell you this: DON'T TOUCH MY MEDICARE! Cut someone else!
I tweeted last week that I was listening to the all-news station on my way to the office and I was subjected to ad after ad from group after group telling me, in the most heart-wrenching terms, why the government must not cut funds from its program. Cut someone else.
Every dollar of the $3.7 trillion dollars that the Federal government is scheduled to spend before September 30, 2011 has got a patron - someone who believes that dollar is not just a good and necessary expenditure; but better and more crucial than any other of the dollars the government is scheduled to spend. Cut someone else.
They all can't be the most important. Some of those dollars have to be less important than some of the other dollars.
Same as tax benefits. Every line in the 3.7 trillion page U.S. tax code has a patron - someone who believes that every dollar of a tax exemption, tax extension tax credit, tax deduction, or tax abatement is not just good and necessary but is better and more crucial than any other of the dollars the government is scheduled to collect. Cut someone else.
Our national motto, "In God We Trust" is done. Finished. Null. And. Void.
The new national motto is: "Cut Someone Else."
Well, boys and girls, the days of pretending we can have as much we want and for it we can pay as little as we want are over. Finished. Null. And. Void.
We can't keep acting like eight-year-olds on Christmas, checking off the presents under the tree against the list we so carefully drew up with no regard to how much they cost nor how much money there was to buy them.
I didn't get the new baseball mitt I asked for? Why not? If there wasn't enough money for all the presents I wanted then my parents should have bought one less present for one of my siblings. Cut someone else.
Don't ask me to come up with a list of Federal programs which should be cut. I don't know all the programs we fund, what they do, nor who they favor. I don't think anyone knows that. How could they? We're spending $3.7 trillion this year - about $10.1 billion per day.
That's about seven million dollars per minute. $117,326.23 per second. Every second of every day.
I know it's too much to ask that someone step up and say their program isn't necessary any more and can go out of business. But, would it be too much to ask for someone to step up and say their program maybe doesn't need to be funded at 100 percent of last year's level?
We don't need a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
There are 535 voting members of the U.S. House and Senate who are supposed to know how much the government is scheduled to take in every year and then vote on how much the federal government should spend.
That's their job. That's what we pay them for. They don't need a Deficit Reduction Commission. They need a Backbone Enhancement Commission.
If they won't do their jobs we should cut their pay.
There you go! The pay of the U.S. Congress is the "someone else" we should cut.
Where do I apply for the Federal grant to flesh out this excellent idea?
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the 2011 Federal budget, to the House vote last night and - I had never looked for this before - the U.S. Government page for Medicare recipients. Also a license plate Mullfoto and a Catchy Slideshow of the Day.