Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The 2012 Budget: Someone's Getting Fucked . . .

Jesus titty-fucking Christ, there is a metric fuck ton of talk about the new 2012 budget proposal laid out by Representative Paul Ryan.  The number his propsal drops out is $4 trillion.  That's right: Republicans seem to think that their budget propsal will cut $4 trillion off of the budget deficit over the next 10 years.  With those kind of numbers, someone is getting the short end of the stick.  The question is who is getting boned and just how much?

Well the big stink is the cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, although these are slightly nuanced.  The Republicans are not suggesting that current spending levels be cut, but rather that future spending increases be curtailed.  The hope is that self-correction will rule the day on both programs and that they will begin to operate more efficiently.  Although I'm all about self-correction, you'll have to forgive me if I'm not totally sold on that one yet.

The deal with Medicare is that they want to get rid of the single-payer option, and instead allow seniors to pick private plans that will be subsidized by the government.  While listening to NPR on the radio on my way home today (mostly because music stations in Columbus are conspiring to drive people to commit murder sprees by playing nothing but shitty songs at 5 p.m.) an analyst said that one of two things can happen: that this will ultimately drive down costs, or it will simply shift the cost burden from the government onto others.  Granted, that old guy up there looks like he might deserve to get fucked, but we have to remember that not all old people are evil, Schrooge-like charicatures.

My guess is that it's not going to do anything to actually lower healthcare costs.  The problem, again, is not going to go away by either cutting or increasing funding.  Healthcare is going to suck as long as medicine continues to be practiced inefficiently.  The same can be said for government: it will continue to be a bunch of wasted money unless government agencies, state, local, and federal, figure out a way to be more cost effective. 
"Hey, pal.  Fuck you and your bullshit."

That's Kasich's idea for Ohio anyway.  His budget is making a lot of cuts, too, because he feels that government needs to get a clue on how not to waste so much damn money.

My biggest question about this budget is why do we need to make such huge cuts on entitlements, but not as many cuts on discretionary spending?  How many fucking barrels of pork are left unscathed by this budget proposal?  Thought we'd have some extra money whenver we get out of Afghanistan?  Think again, because now we're all invested in Libya.

Someone I was arguing with today made a really good point.  If we weren't trying to fund 2 wars, 3 if you count Libya, then we'd probably not have to make such huge cuts to begin with.  That may very well be.  It might be that these wars are what's draining us so badly.  But the problem is that Afghanistan is not going to end soon, and I think it only accounts for $500 billion of the current budget.

Paul Ryan: Seriously, who wouldn't
trust a face like that???
 The bottom line is that if we want a balanced budget again, then we're going to have to accept the fact that entitlements are going to have to take a hit as well.  I'm not sure if the whole "make them work better on less," plan is going to work, but I was willing to give Obama a chance, so maybe we should give the Republicans a chance.  Maybe?  We need to get control of our budget deficit sooner rather than later, and I don't think we can really wait until we're no longer at war or no longer need to worry about national defense.


Anonymous said...

I have always wonderd how much money is truely wasted in government spending. not spent on things that i personaly find worthless, i mean WASTED! spoiled food, insurance that is never used etc.


Jack Camwell said...

Oh it's wasted on all kinds of shit. Having worked for the government, I know that there's always the "use it or lose it," attitude. Basically, at the end of each quarter, we'd have an ass ton of money left over to spend, and we were told to buy whatever with it.

Each one of us got gerber knives out of it, because the money would have just gone to someone else if we didn't spend it. Wastefull? Absolutely. But I was paying into it anyway with my tax dollars so whatevs.

Harrison said...

Obama's "stimulus" cost more than the entire Iraqi was and did no good. That single idea is what seriously compromised this nation.

Jack Camwell said...

The problem I have is that I get the feeling that the Keynesian model just does not work. I'm no economist, and I hate numbers. But the idea that spending money actually makes us money hasn't really seemed to work for us so far.

Perhaps in a vacuum, where Americans aren't lazy and stupid, then spending money on them would actually give us a return. But most Americans shun things like "philosophy," and "ideas," and they only care about results.

And unfortuntely, the only results they care about are the ones that line their pockets.

Karen Howes said...

Seems the government just wouldn't be the government if it didn't squander copious amounts of taxpayers' money.

Let's not forget all of the money we give in foreign aid!

Jack Camwell said...

No kidding. I'm getting increasingly tired with the fantasy that we can have every social program ever if we would just "wise up" and tax the rich.