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This will be a short Diary because I am more interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this issue.  Obviously we all want to see the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy expire in order to help bring in more revenue, but from a Liberal point of view what would you be willing to see changed in order to address the defecit?  Personally, I think the retirement age should be raised.  Other than that I haven't really seen any other proposals that I would accept but I'd like to see if anyone else has put much thought into this.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd allow Medicare to negotiate (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rigcath, Seeds, bear83, indie17, freesia

    drug prices for Medicare Part D. And for the Medicare Part B costs to be raised a small percentage for those with individual incomes above 107K.
    Absolutely opposed to any  increases in the age of retirement for SS or Medicare.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:20:38 PM PST

    •  Either the age of retirement will ... (0+ / 0-)

      have to be increased or benefits will ultimately have to be cut.  There is no way to escape the fact that revenues will decrease as the benefit pool expands.  Either way, the impact will be about the same ... and will effect the same people.  Better to bite the bullet and absorb the impact slowly over time than to have it hit all at once when few will be prepared for it.  The only real question is which political party will handle it wisely and reap the benefits, or handle it poorly and suffer the consequences when the fingers of blame are pointed.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:28:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Retirement should go down, Medicare for all.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, sporks, indie17

    implemented, Capital Gains tax raised to 90% and tax on incomes over $250,000 raised to 65% over 4 years.

    Defence can be cut in half by 2016 and "homeland defence" aka spying on your neighbour, can be cut by an equal amount.

    Social programs are already so threadbare, they should be expanded not cut.  

    Infrastructure spending should be tripled and a highspeed rail link from Buffalo to Miami built.

    That is your Grand Bargain.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:26:18 PM PST

  •  Two obvious changes: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, VegLane, AlaskanAnt, bear83, indie17

    Raise the contribution limit on social security.  It's around 110K now.  Nothing above that is currently taxed.  That's much better than raising the age to receive benefits.

    On medicare, eliminate the provision under part D, prescription drugs, that prohibits the government from negotiating with the drug companies over their prices.

    The real issue here is the timeline.  Everything can't get done before the first of the year.  They need to renew the middle class tax cuts, unemployment benefits and the AMT.  Most of the rest of the stuff can wait till after Jan. with the debt ceiling limit next up.

    •  110,100 is about 84%tile (0+ / 0-)

      Income cap used to be at 90%. Adjust it back to 90%.

      Remember job creation means more FICA, and increases the odds that SS is good thru 2090, as the Trustees state in the 2012 low cost scenario.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:32:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  AS good as it is (0+ / 0-)

      the Peoples Budget has one major fail, they want to reduce the deficit on a balance sheet.

      Job creation is the best increase of revenue. SO create 20-25 million jobs. Didnt Clinton show us how that works.....

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:35:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the only things that should be changed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, Roger Fox

    are higher (and new) taxes and defense cuts.

    everything else is off the table.

  •  Raising the retirement age would work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    only if life expectancy of the middle class were rising significantly. That has not bee the case over the last few decades (though the Affordable Care Act hopefully will change that).

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 01:00:09 PM PST

  •  Retirement age (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, bear83, indie17, Roger Fox

    Why raise the retirement age for Medicare & SS benefits?  It's no big deal if you work in an office but think about if you are a trash collector or a janitor.

    The way SS currently works is that you can retire at 62 for a lower benefit, a fully realized benefit at 65, & a few $$ more if you wait til 67.  That gives people in less physical industries the ability to wait it out for an increased benefit without making retirement impossible for millworkers.

    Raising the Medicare qualification age to 67 is a terrible idea for this reason, as well.  The Medicare qualification age should be coupled to the SS age.  Say you retire from a productive life as a machinist at 62, and take the reduced SS benefit.  Just because it was someone's convenient political bargaining chip, do you really think it's morally right to make this person wait 5 years before they qualify for Medicare?

  •  Decreasing spending (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, bear83, indie17, Minnesota Deb

    We won.  Social programs should not be on the table.  Big bird lives!

    Let's build fewer tanks & defer military capital expenditures for a few years.  I would like to hire soldiers and sailors rolling off of their service to secure our electrical grid & to do cargo container security at our ports, though.

    Similarly, we should fully fund programs like securing our nukes but we should shrink their numbers and thus reduce the cost of their maintenance.

    Military spending is the biggest outlay so that might be a good place to look first.

    •  Social programs ARE on the table, ... (0+ / 0-)

      whether we like it or not.  Republicans will never allow defense cuts to pass without an equal offset in social spending.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:39:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  main long term driver of debt is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    cost of health care.  it is an even bigger problem for private budgets than for governments.

    it is extremely important to reform the health care system to control costs.  simply getting US health care costs to the level of 2nd most expensive country, switzerland, would be a great accomplishment.

    much more needs to be spent on education, environment, and anti-poverty programs, and the gigantic amount of money wasted in health care limits the money available for those, in both private and public sectors.

    gigantic costs of health care also distort public policy.  goverment spends far, far more on elderly than on the young, which is very stupid, and mostly b/c of the much greater political power of the elderly.


    basically i want the progressive caucus' people's budget.

    federal government should eliminate all states' deficits and provide enough money to re-hire fired workers.  refinancing of freddie mac's and fannie mae's mortgages.

    subject capital gains to income tax rates
    close hedgefund managers' loophole
    close carried interest loophole
    raise estate tax
    cap tax deductions
    cut farm subsidies
    cut other corporate welfare
    eliminate the alternative minimum tax, by increasing existing taxes an equal amount.

    i don't think a VAT is realistic, but i would probably support it.

  •  No rise in the eligibility age for Medicare or S/S (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VegLane, indie17

    Any rise is a benefit cut  - benefits that have been promised to workers for decades.

    If anything the age for Medicare needs to be lowered to 62 or lower to get more people into the health system sooner, giving people a chance to get health issues addressed before they spiral out of control (in both severity and cost).

    Medicare needs to be able to negotiate drug prices, and the cap on S/S earnings needs to be raised or eliminated altogether.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a overall cap on deductions if the cap was set high enough to exclude most middle income families.

    One specific deduction I would cap or cut is the mortgage interest deduction on second/vacation homes.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 02:30:30 PM PST

  •  Please remove word deficit from diary (0+ / 0-)

    and replace it with these words:

    the need for MASSIVE JOB CREATION.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 04:25:20 PM PST

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