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Top 10 Ideas for a New Debt Deal

I don’t take the time to write here much because of the overwhelming responsibilities I am facing in my business. However, this whole government budget and seeing all the financial waste has gotten to me so badly that I have to write this down, in order to move on.

I am so sick of hearing about these politicians battling each other over whether to cut, where to cut, and how much to cut. The reason that balancing the budget is so difficult for politicians is that they won’t look to cut where it really counts. Instead they focus on the biggest programs and look to make the biggest cuts. How stupid. I think that we SHOULD evaluate huge programs, even Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, but I don’t think I would come to the conclusion that huge cuts are warranted.

There are a LOT of other places where cuts should come first. These are the easy decisions for the informed public (but most people are unaware) but tough for politicians who are helping out their buddies in business (technically illegal but will forever go unpunished). It really pains me to see all the theft by politicians (even if not directly), while the government spends billions to ensure that small-time financial criminals stay locked up (another story for another day).

At any rate, here are some of the top-ranking, stupid wastes of money:

  1. Stop paying all congress officials extravagant retirement benefits. Even after only serving a single term in office, they receive 8.5% [of a high salary] for life and unlimited, premium healthcare. 1
  2. Stop allowing certain government officials (such as congressman) the ability to vote for their own raises. 2
  3. Stop allowing stupid laws (usually passed as legislation riders) to be passed that allow things like point 1 & 2. In other words, make serious effort to overhaul the riders process.
  4. Reclaim Billions of waste taxpayer dollars from the National Science Foundation (NSF).3 This program spent more than $3 Billion US taxpayer dollars on “Antarctic Jello Wrestling”, “Exercise ability of a shrimp on a treadmill” ($3 milion), a YouTube rap video, “FarmVille” an online game for facebook developed by Zynga ($315,000 given to a private, for-profit business!), $1 Million to determine how quickly parents respond to baby names 4, and the list goes on and on. We’re talking huge sums of money here. In its own defense, the NSF stated that they did not have enough quality submitted programs, but I’m sure they wanted to keep their budget “alive” for the following year. So they awarded to the “most promising programs” [what a joke!]. That is a bold-faced LIE, because I know of at least one(1) quality program that was instantly denied funding without explanation (another story for another day). The NSF should be audited each year and the money rescinded for any misuse of funds, the person authorizing disciplined or fired, and the NSF budget reduced accordingly. Is it any wonder that the NSF’s acronym is the same as “Non Sufficient Funds?”
  5. The Small Business Administration (SBA) tends to fund mostly Dry Cleaners and Motels. Why fund those types of businesses when the local banks are there for that purpose?5 The SBA hurts local bank competition and allows low-quality businesses to start up (that might not otherwise merit funding). Let the private sector do what it does and keep the government out of things that it is not good at, like budgeting and deciding where to spend money!
  6. Why does the USA still spend billions of dollars on oil subsidies? Don’t they know that Exxon Mobile made more than $50 Billion profit last year?! Oh wait, that’s right, they have lots of extremely well paid lobbyists that keep that “well oiled” machine running. I suppose that’s a much bigger topic in cracking down on the “favors” game on Capitol Hill. I guess that will never happen.
  7. The idiots that decided to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan should be drawn & quartered. It really feels like this was an inside job, which led to the biggest heist in history.6 However, there are still mega-billions unaccounted for that were simply written off as “unknown” in regards to who spent it or where. Must be nice. This is just a small example. There has been more than $45 Billion total unaccounted for over the past couple of years. No wonder we’re in so much debt. And where the Hell is Afghanistan again?!?!
  8. If you are going to write off Billions of dollars as “accounting errors & omissions” 7 (See U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2003 Financial Report of the United States Government, pp. 126 [March 28, 2005]. Unreconciled transactions totaled $3.4 billion in 2004), then you damn well better reduce the budget of those agencies who did not bother to report their expenditures. I’m sure the argument at the top would be that those funds could not be reported because they were black ops or needed to stay under the radar, but have any of those people at the top proven themselves to be good enough at making decisions to allow complete autonomy?? I highly doubt it.
  9. Stop hiring idiots to work in positions that require good financial management skills. If we curbed the amount of fraud that is rampant (to the tune of billions per year) across student loan programs, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, medicare, and medicaid; then we would probably reclaim enough money to fund the social security deficit. So how do you curb fraud? You start putting people in place who care about their jobs (not just hand them out to minorities who feel entitled) and then have management review all reports to verify that approved funds are well spent.
  10. Curb overspending by the government. The days of the $2,000 toilet and the $10,000 hammer may be behind us, but the money is still wasted nevertheless. Those with the power have just shifted how they steal that money and have finally been forced not to be so blatant about it. But there is still a ton of overspending by programs like Medicare, ~$8/liter of saline solution whereas the VA paid ~$1/liter. 8

I’m sure that my suggestions, which will hurt certain types of people leeching off the system right now, will not be well received. However, the cold hard truth is this: The US needs to make changes to become more fair and sometimes that means stepping on a few toes (or many in this case).

There are a lot of  programs in place today that are good ideas but employ 10 people to do the job of one person. You don’t always have to have 10 levels of managers just to manage a single person. Even if that 1 person abused their authority, it wouldn’t equal the waste of all 10 people (and any of them being able to abuse their own authority). C’mon people, wise up!

That’s just touching the surface but still accounts for mega-Billions per year, possibly more than a Trillion. I am sure there is a LOT more that I do not know about and THAT is where we should be looking for cuts. Instead, the people of America are continuously distracted by the rhetoric and blatant misguiding by those at the top. Why do we elect such simple-minded people to offices of power? I never wanted to be a politician because I wanted to do something in life that allowed me to use my intellect, but after seeing billions of dollars lining the pockets of those at the top; it makes me question my decision.

Oh, and YES, I am one of those people who is still miffed over the bank and car industry “bail out.” This is because I firmly believe it was all a charade to line the pockets of those at the top (which was proven to happen), all while people’s attention was diverted away from wanting the heads of those responsible (typically the same as those who benefitted from the bail out!). So why aren’t any of those on Wall Street, who were responsible for the collapse, serving time behind bars yet? Hmm.

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