I want “Fort Buckley” to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Yes, that’s a twist on the old saying “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
Well, we all face a big problem in out-of-control federal spending. Unless you’ve lived in a cave for the past decade, we all know there’s a problem.
In a democracy, the citizens are part of the government. That not only means we have a voice, it means we have responsibility, too.
In the interest of using Fort Buckley as a means to helping our elected leaders (and us) deal with the tsunami of red ink that’s washing our kids’ futures away, I’m asking for your constructive suggestions on this topic: What ENTITLEMENTS should we reduce, in order to control federal spending?
A few ground “rules”:
- “Rules” is in scare quotes because…honestly, I can’t control what you say in the comments thread. You can troll this thread or threadjack it, and I can’t stop you. But, what would the point of that be? (Other than being a pest or malicious, that is?)
- If you want to blame this interest group or that federal agency or that voting block for our runaway deficit, I wish you’d post elsewhere. We ALL had a hand in this; now we ALL need to fix it. Fixing blame fixes nothing.
- I’m looking for practical solutions that our government can realistically implement. IMO, if you were to recommend abolishing Social Security altogether for everyone who is not yet drawing it…yes, that would be a way to fix our problem. But, respectfully, you’d have as much chance of pulling that off as I would of making the Arizona Cardinal’s roster. I’m trying to find specific things—even if they’re small things—that could help the spending problem. After all, we’re not going to find one grand solution to the federal spending crisis. It’s going to be hundreds, if not thousands, of cuts and reductions that will be cobbled together.
- I picked ENTITLEMENTS for this discussion thread because…well, we have to start somewhere. If you think our problems stem from spending too much on weapons programs or public works projects…that’s a discussion for another day. In order to keep this discussion focused and efficient, it’s best to have one target topic. For today, that’s federal entitlements.
To start off the discussion, here’s my suggestion: Reduce the retirement pay entitlements of any federal employee who’s 45 or younger, by as much as 20%.
FYI, that includes me: I’m a retired Army Reservist, so I start drawing federal retirement once I reach 60.
Why did I pick the age of 45? Here’s why: If you’re 45 now…
- ..you were 28 in 1992. That’s when Ross Perot ran for President as an independent. One of his main platform planks: out-of-control federal spending. SO…unless you went into a cave in 1991 and stayed there ever since, you should have known that we were on an unsustainable federal spending path. And, at the age of 28, you should have started to take responsibility for your future well-being. At the very least, you should have known that the federal government wasn’t in a position to guarantee that it could take care of you in retirement.
- …you have at least 20 years until you enter the window where most people retire. Even if you’re just now coming out of that cave, you still have time to build and execute a retirement plan.
Why am I picking on federal retirees? IMO it’s the overspending in Washington that’s going to kill us. If most of our dollars are siphoned off to Washington, we won’t have the funds we need to take care of state and local needs. Therefore, if a state or locality wanted to offer robust retirement benefits, it might not be able to because all the money is in D.C..
Personally, I don’t want to live in a society where the health of your community rises and falls on your Congressional delegation’s ability to wheedle money out of Washington. I’m a believer in as small a national government as possible. And I certainly don’t want the states to turn into beggars.
IMO, the real threat to our nation’s fiscal health comes from Washington. If all else fails, you can pack up and move out of a failing state (Welcome to Arizona, Californians!). Where do you go if Washington D.C. busts the bank?
OK—that’s enough from me for now. Here’s what I’d like to hear from you:
- What problems do you see with my idea: Reduce the retirement pay entitlements of any federal employee who’s 45 or younger, by as much as 20%?
- What are YOUR practical suggestions that can be implemented, for controlling federal entitlements? Should we, for example, means-test Social Security? If so, how?
This is Fort Buckley, signing off for now…