July 18, 2011
If you’re following the talk about raising the debt ceiling and fixing the deficit, there’s an interesting report from December 2010 that illustrates some of the financial reforms the Obama administration is pushing. I suspect that the plan proposed to Republicans initially came from this report, and it is a lengthy PDF. Many of the reforms and information about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are in this report. A lot of the “cuts” to those three programs in particular interest me because it reflects Obama’s assurance that he wanted to evaluate every program and to make efficiency cuts where needed. Medicare tends to do a lot of wasteful spending. Social Security could be administered better, and there’s a recommendation in the report to extend Social Security for people who exhaust their retirement pay-in after a certain age. Medicaid may be more overloaded with management (which is worrisome because Medicaid already strains state and federal budgets). But overall, the recommendations of the report appear very pragmatic on first read.
Whatever Congress decides to do, they must do it by the end of this week to have everything signed and authorized by the August 2 deadline. The legislative impasse taking place now is a tremendously irresponsible display of power-mongering. I hope many of the lawmakers holding up our nation’s financial solvency and security get their comeuppance during their re-election, especially since a lot of the Republicans holding up the deal are the ones who replaced Democrats for being “ineffective” at the last midterm election period.
Anyway, enjoy the report. I love you all, and yes, I still plan to write here every now and then.