Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity


No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Conservative Manifesto For Reforming Government

Representative Paul Ryan is the only Republican to come up with a comprehensive plan to reform spending in Washington.  Here's the summary from his plan:

A Roadmap for America’s Future is a comprehensive alternative to the heavily government-centered ideology now prevailing in Washington, which pursues a relentless expansion of government, creates a growing culture of dependency, and in the process worsens a status quo that already threatens to overwhelm the budget and smother the economy.

The Roadmap – updated since its previous introduction in 2008, to reflect the dramatic decline in the Nation’s economic and fiscal condition – draws on Americans’ strengths to restore the Nation’s legacy of leaving the next generation better off. It achieves three key objectives:

PROVIDING HEALTH AND RETIREMENT SECURITY. The plan ensures universal access to health insurance; and it rescues and strengthens Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – allowing them to fulfill their missions and making them permanently solvent.

LIFTING THE DEBT BURDEN. It returns Federal spending growth to sustainable rates, and lifts the huge projected debt burden from the shoulders of future generations.

PROMOTING AMERICAN JOB CREATION AND COMPETITIVENESS. It promotes solid, sustained economic growth and job creation here in America, and puts the United States in a position to lead – not merely survive – in the global marketplace. The plan also modernizes job training programs to meet the effects of globalization.

Why America Needs an Alternative. America faces an immense challenge – and an extraordinary opportunity.

THE CHALLENGE. The Federal Government’s current fiscal path is unsustainable: it leads to unprecedented levels of spending, deficits, and debt that will overwhelm the budget, smother the economy, weaken America’s competitiveness in the global 21st century economy, and threaten the survival of the government’s major benefit programs. The President and congressional Majority are hastening America’s march toward this reckoning, adding to trillions of dollars worth of unfunded liabilities, and accelerating the erosion of Americans’ health care and retirement security. Their “progressive” ideology leads to a future in which America’s best century is the past century.

THE OPPORTUNITY. Putting the Nation on a sustainable fiscal course may be one of the greatest domestic challenges in America’s history. But it is also an extraordinary opportunity to restore a national character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and opportunity – and to transform the Federal Government to the realities of the 21st century.

Major Plan Components.

HEALTH CARE. The plan ensures universal access to affordable health insurance by restructuring the tax code, allowing all Americans to secure affordable health plans that best suits their needs, and shifting the ownership of health coverage away from the government and employers to individuals.
- Provides a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to purchase coverage in any State, and keep it with them if they move or change jobs.
- Establishes transparency in health care price and quality data, so this critical information is readily available before an individual needs health services.
- Modernizes Medicaid and strengthens the health care safety net by reforming high-risk pools, giving States maximum flexibility to tailorMedicaid programs to the specific needs of their populations. Allows Medicaid recipients to take part in the same variety of options by using the tax credit to purchase high-quality care.
MEDICARE. The Roadmap secures Medicare for current beneficiaries, while making common-sense reforms to keep it solvent for the long term.
- Preserves the existing Medicare program for those 55 or older.
- For those currently under 55 – as they become Medicare-eligible – creates a Medicare payment averaging $11,000 per year when fully phased in. Adjusts the payment for inflation, and pegs it to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. Provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.
- In addition to the Medicare payment, establishes and fully funds Medical Savings Accounts [MSAs] for low-income beneficiaries (to cover out-ofpocket costs), while continuing to allow all beneficiaries, regardless of income, to set up tax-free MSAs.
- Makes Medicare permanently solvent, based on Congressional Budget Office [CBO] estimates and consultation with the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
SOCIAL SECURITY. The proposal saves and strengthens this important retirement program and makes it sustainable for the long term.
- Preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older.
- Offers workers under 55 the option of investing over one third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to Federal employees. Includes a property right so they can pass on these assets to their heirs, and a guarantee that individuals will not lose a dollar they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation.
- Makes the program permanently solvent, according to the CBO, by combining a more realistic measure of growth in Social Security’s initial benefits, with a gradual, modest increase in the retirement age, consistent with Americans’ improving lifespans.
TAX REFORM. This plan offers an alternative to today’s needlessly complex and inefficient tax code, providing the option of a simplified mechanism that better promotes and rewards work, saving, and investment.
- Provides taxpayers a choice of how to pay their income taxes – through existing law, or through a highly simplified income tax system that fits on a postcard with just two rates and virtually no special tax deductions credits, or exclusions (except the health care tax credit).
- Simplifies tax rates to 10 percent on income up to $100,000 for joint filers, and $50,000 for single filers; and 25 percent on taxable income above these amounts. Also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four).
- Eliminates the alternative minimum tax [AMT].
- Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax.
- Replaces the corporate income tax – currently the second highest in the industrialized world – with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent. This new rate is roughly half that of the rest of the industrialized world.
JOB TRAINING. The Roadmap helps the Nation’s workforce prepare for success in the global economy by transforming 49 job training programs, scattered across eight agencies, into a flexible, dynamic strategy focused on results, and accompanied by clear measures of transparency and accountability. The plan requires the development of performance measures, and gives each State the option to consolidate funding into one program, if such an approach can be shown to improve outcomes and achieve job training goals.

Why ‘A Roadmap for America’s Future’ is Different.
As mentioned above, the status quo is not sustainable. But Washington’s current leaders are making matters worse. The Roadmap is not simply a slimmer version of the “progressive” government expansion now prevailing in Washington. It is a true alternative, and a complete legislative proposal consisting of specific policies supported by CBO estimates of its fiscal and economic consequences.

Other key features of the plan:
COMPREHENSIVENESS. Whether the issue is health care, international competitiveness, or debt, piecemeal, incremental “fixes” will never match the magnitude, urgency, and interrelated nature of America’s greatest domestic NOTE: The “current policy” paths in the graphics above reflect what the Congressional Budget Office [CBO], in its June 2009 report The Long-Term Budget Outlook, terms its “alternative fiscal scenario.” In describing this projection, CBO says it “represents one interpretation of what it would mean to continue today’s underlying fiscal policy,” and that it reflects “policy changes that are widely expected to occur and that policymakers have regularly made in the past.” challenges. This plan provides the comprehensive approach critical for achieving real, long-term solutions.

BACKED UP BY NUMBERS. It is a real plan, with real proposals, real numbers to back them up, and real legislation to implement it. Based on estimates provided by the CBO, this plan is projected to make the Social Security and Medicare programs permanently solvent. It will lift the growing debt burden on future generations, and hold Federal taxes to no higher than 19 percent of GDP.

A TRUE ALTERNATIVE. This plan is based on a fundamentally different vision. It focuses government on its proper role; it restrains government spending, thus limiting the size of government itself; it rejuvenates the vibrant market economy that made America the envy of the world; and it restores an American character rooted in individual initiative, entrepreneurship, and opportunity – qualities that make each American’s pursuit of personal destiny a net contribution to the Nation’s common good as well. In short, it is built on the enduring truths from which America’s Founders established this great and exceptional Nation.
If the GOP in Congress had any balls, they would adopt this plan and run with it.  Use it to fundamentally change the direction of America, since our sitting president has no ability to lead...
The message of the budget the Obama administration released today is the same as the message the president delivered in his State of the Union address: All is well, full speed ahead, and let’s invest a little more in solar panels and high-speed rail.
...and is merely upping the ante in his poker game for re-election by proposing a $3,700,000,000,000.00 budget that includes a $1,650,000,000,000.00 deficit and calling is spending cuts.

Unfortuantely for America, the GOP in Congress are already hemming an hawing
But others, including some of the selfsame tea-party heroes who raised hell over what amounts to one percent of the budget, are hemming and hawing on the Roadmap and entitlement reform in general — non-committal at best and cowardly at worst.  Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.) calls Ryan’s plan “a good start” but “not perfect,” and calls for Republicans to be “flexible.” Rep. Kristi Noem (R., N.D.), already the recipient of favorable Sarah Palin comparisons, says she likes portions of the Roadmap but hasn’t “explored too far.” That dog-ate-my-homework theme repeats itself among a number of freshman, and maybe it’s even true, but then are there members like Rep. Steve Chabot (R., Ohio), an RSC guy now entering his eighth term, who says he is “still studying” the Roadmap and is “not ready to announce a position” just yet. Well, maybe by his tenth term.
..and generally just playing politics now that it's come down the brass tacks.  We have to do something or we will be in the shoes the Greeks are in already...and that day will arrive within the next five years...

Shit, even Andrew Sullivan is freaking out over this budget...and say's that Obama is
The crisis is the cost of future entitlements and defense, about which Obama proposes nothing. Yes, there's some blather. But Obama will not risk in any way any vulnerability on taxes to his right or entitlement spending to his left. He convened a deficit commission in order to throw it in the trash. If I were Alan Simpson or Erskine Bowles, I'd feel duped. And they were duped. All of us who took Obama's pitch as fiscally responsible were duped.
That's from one of his cheerleaders on the left.  Mr. Obama is making a cynical political move by proposing a budget that will never make it though the Senate (that his party controls), much less the House which is controlled by the GOP...who don't have the balls to do what needs to be done to return this country to a sound fiscal basis...G-d help  us all....

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