Monday, February 13, 2012

Slap the tap, it's time for the Top 10 Tea Party budget cuts

With the partisan war going on about whether Clint Eastwood has a hidden Liberal heart or whether Churches should keep condom vending machines in the rectory, I stumbled across an old article about the Tea Party.

The article titled Tea Party: Top 10 Federal Government Cuts by Alex Pappas over at the Daily Caller was posted way back in the old days of Oct 20, 2011 and made me wonder if there is anything I could come to agreement on with the Tea Party in today's partisan society.

Now the article only lists the ideas and gave no description/instruction as to how these ideas would be conducted, so after some research I added my own description/instruction.

So basically these are the top 10 favorite “dream” cost-cutting ideas the Tea Party can agree on, since it is not one organization but multiples. And of course it wouldn't be whole without the help of Freedomworks, one of few money backers for the Tea Party.

OK, so let’s see what they like:
1. Repeal Obamacare - Is it still called the Affordable Care Act or has it officially been changed to Obamacare?

This a favorite for everyone outside of the super-secret Liberal handshake society, including GOP Presidential hopefuls like Willard Romney. But one thing ALL must consider, there are parts of Obamacare that cannot be repealed.

What can't be repealed, well for one that health insurers are required to take on all newcomers, no matter their health and still charge the same amount for insurance and secondly a large part of Obamacare was put forth without "reconciliation" which means it can't be repealed.

However, any product of Obamacare that affects the budget can be repealed and if Republicans repeal the subsidy part of "requiring newcomers" for health insurers, it will collapse the health insurance system.

Hm, the term "collapse" is rather scary, now wonder some of Willard's campaign staff has come out stating that all of Obamacare can't be repealed. We wouldn't want to hold a candidate to their promises, would we?

2. Reduce duplicative purchases of Pentagon supplies- Why not just call this waste? Because that's what it is and simply the Pentagon needs to go through major management changes.

Wasting paper is a good start. Printing large 5'x5' posters as visual aid can stop, actually that should go for Congress as well.

All this technology and no one knows how to use a laptop/Ipad and a large video screen for visuals is downright insane! Buy some freakin' large screen monitors and place them, I'm sure Wal-Mart will give them a good deal.

But paper is one fish in the very large ocean over at the Pentagon. As we've seen over the last month, Defense Secretary Panetta has given his budget cuts and many people are crying foul.

There's lots of duplication services & organization so it's too to streamline.

But one has to ask, if it’s Un-American to cut anything from our Military, doesn’t this make the Tea Party Un-American as well?

3. Eliminate the Department of Education- Always gotta keep this one in the closet and pull it out when needed. It’s a fact, a Department with the “kick me” sign hanging on the front, gets more ridicule from the GOP, Tea Party and Con-Talkers, yet it’s been the GOP that has ballooned this Department, yes even Reagan added to the DoE.

But how about instead of eliminating the DoE, let's refine and dissect what it does and what services are duplicated. First get rid of No Child Left Behind, because the notion that each child learns at an equal pace is wrong. And while we're at it, get rid of Race to the Top which seems more of a paper pusher program from the get-go.

But if America is lagging in Math & Science, why cut the DoE? Don't give the lame excuse of Charter Schools either, because reports have been coming out from States that they tests are no better than Public Schools.

4. Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac- So technically these two are already "private" entities, with backing from the US Treasury and private shareholders and both are exempt from SEC regulations. Fannie being in charge of buying bank loans to free up bank money for more home loans and Freddie watching over savings banks.

In 2008 "W" placed them both in conservatorship as everything bank and loan wise froze during the meltdown.

So how private will they become if released from the conservatorship and will the US TReasury still back them?

Well the current plan is to raise their rates to that of the banks, reduce the loan amounts and reduce the amount of loans given, all while still being backed by the US Treasury and Private shareholders. Does that sound to anyone?

So I guess Michelle Bachmann got her $700K home loan just in time.

5. Reduce discretionary spending to 2008 level- Why, why is it always 2008? Why not 2001 or 1998? I seem to recall there was a Surplus up until 2001.

Simple, because spending up until 2008 didn’t include making payments for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (gotta love “W” & GOP led Congress for fixing the books on this) and now they are part of the budget.

So what to cut back on, well like the notion of repealing Obamacare, let’s repeal “W’s” monstrous Medicare Part B that the GOP admittedly stated “we never figured out how to pay for it.”

A trillion dollar monster that has costs taxpayers almost triple to maintain. Personally, I blame the ScooterStore and Hovaround to jacking up costs. Not to mention this is one action Presidential hopeful Santorum needs to really explain, because this is not Conservative action!

Ok, so we cut that and well we’ll never get back the $700billion from Wall Street, thank you GOP & Democrats for that.

Answer is, to cut back to 2008, we have to pay off 2 wars first and truly use the Line Item veto for it's correct intentions and not be a partisan tool.

Hey wait, how much did Chrysler pay Clint Eastwood for the Super Bowl commercial and was that bailout money?

6. Block grant Medicaid- OK so right now the Feds give roughly about 57% of funds to each State as the State picks up the rest; the poorer States get a higher percentage, somewhere around 85% while the wealthier sit at 50%. And in return for the Feds say States must keep a certain criteria such as, coverage for poor children, elderly, pregnant women and some adults with dependents.

Here's the kicker, States have the option not to be in Medicaid. Yet when States like Texas and others decided they might drop out they realized it would kill their economy to care for their residents alone. So they stayed in.

Now with a Block Grant, everyone pretty much is equal on Federal help, which would leave the States "freedom" to decide the fate of Medicaid in their State. Yep, they can then decide whom gets what help and how much money they'll give.

But States already are given some "freedom" already on who gets it, how much they'll pay and how much hospitals and doctors will recieve.

Hey wait this sounds like the same argument the GOP gives against Obamacare!! So the Tea Party will turn Medicaid into a socialist program!

7. End ethanol tax credits- Experts have said that the Ethanol tax credit has saved about 25cents/gallon as of July 2011. Hm, sounds nice to me, but since Ethanol comes from corn and once the tax credit was placed, corn prices have gone up.

Corn is used in so much, but much of it is used in livestock feed as well. So as the price of corn goes up, so does the price of everything from Milk to Chicken to Steak at the grocery store.

Now the credit has helped US and World refineries from running at full capacity, but we know in due time they'll find their loopholes to adjust the prices higher.

For the moment the credit sounds good.

8. Sell needless federal buildings- There’s roughly 12,000+ federal properties that the Federal government has no use for. Yet, some of these properties are rentals because many departments have outgrown their current facilities and use rentals for storage purposes.

The selling off federal properties is a decades old issue, heck even Reagan put together a special commission into trying to sell off old military installations and the big “O” was hoping to save the budget $15 billion by selling off other properties.

We've already have "Doomsday" people buying old missile silos and converting them into underground habitats. But what would someone do with an old Air Force base that shares runways with a major airport? Build low income housing?

Not to mention, many still believe our National Forests should be sold to privaters. So how majestic would Mt Rushmore look with a Shale frackin' rig sitting above Teddy Roosevelt's head?

9. Eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development
By eliminating this department, many low income families will find it harder to afford housing and after the Housing market imploded, many families are finding renting to be harder as landlords are jacking up prices even in the most poorest of communities.

The elimination will give authority to the States to regulate the access of fair market value in housing and rentals.

Now grant it, I think it's absurd that a Section 8 house should be in the austute communities but it doesn't need to be in the poorest of communities either, especially when children are involved and parents want good education for their kids. It's bad enough when you hear about a kid that has to take a Subway and a Bus to a school 90 minutes away and not every child is accepted into Cyber-Schooling either.

10. Reduce Medicare teaching subsidies- Medicare teaching subsidies is a mixed bag as these subsidies are used to help with the internships of young doctors, intensive medical care services, burn trauma units, as well as offset the costs of medical treatment for the poor and elderly.

These subsidies help keep teaching hospitals in New York, Massachussetts, California, Pennsylvania and others to keep the fresh young talent alive and pay their saleries.

Here in Pittsburgh, once the hub of the Steel industry is now the hub for medical procedures at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers pumping out talent, innovations and many dollars into the local community. Take away these subsidies and many jobs in nursing and health care will be lost. So Pittsburgh would have to go through its 5th Renaissance to recover.

Ok so there are a few ideas I could agree with and there are others I can't. But the funny thing is, most of these ideas have been tried in the past with failure or a commission was set forth to research and then cast aside with their findings costing taxpayers money in the process. Not to mention if one of these ideas actually happens, it's not an overnight fix but can take several years to even get started.

So how does that help us now? It doesn't. But people like to hear all the abbreviated ideas and believe when their told "It will happen." They just don't tell you when and at what cost.

Yet the masses of lemmings would never know because they have too little time to pay attention to other sources and only listen to one media source, mainly the opinionated ones that aren’t reporting news.

Slap the tap on the Guinness and don’t spill a costly drop. It's time to pay the political tab.

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