I feel strongly that something significant has to be done. And there will be plenty of pain to go around. We'll all suffer in one way or the other. I don't know what the best answer is but I have expressed my opinions on this issue to my congressperson and senators - several times! You should do the same.
Since I know the pain will be there, I told my elected representatives my preferred way of sharing the pain. I want them to know that I expect them to stop be political hacks and start being patriotic Americans with backbone to do what has to be done. It's got to happen.
If you feel greater effort should be placed on spending reductions, explain exactly what you mean. Where should the cuts be? On the other hand, if you feel taxes should be increased, be as specific as possible. For example, how should the home mortgage interest deduction be handled? Or, how should we pay for the growth in entitlement programs like Social Security.
Here's your chance to affect the future. I've heard that a letter to elected officials is treated by them as representing the opinions of 100 like-minded individuals among the population. If you want the address, telephone number, FAX number and email address of your elected officials, try here: Contacting the Congress.
It's your money they will be spending or saving so let them know your preferences - NOW!
Here are the key recommendations put forth by the deficit commission co-chairmen:
- Reduce future cost of living adjustments for social security and gradually raise the retirement age to 69 by 2075
- Rein in health care spending and make Medicare recipients pay more.
- Cut $200 billion from a broad array of government programs, half from defense.
- Eliminate or scale back the home mortgage deduction and most other popular tax write offs.
- Reduce and simplify overall tax rates.
- Increase gasoline tax by 15 cents per gallon to fund highway spending.
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