XXX…..Adults Only

 

There. I got your attention. It’s Monday as of this writing and I have gone through the Sunday papers and viewed most of the Sunday panel shows. Some of my thoughts might be plagiarized because I found several pearls of wisdom regarding our financial mess. Mainly is the fact we are at least talking about it.

The answer is not totally Ryan. It is not totally Obama. If you think we can get through this without raising taxes you are naïve. If you feel that we should not touch Medicare and Social Security, you are drinking the Kool Aid. Both have to happen not ten or twenty years from now. We is here already.

The new game in DC is to explain the bad news in percentage of GDP rather than in trillions of dollars. We don’t want to scare people. So I will give it to you as such. We take in tax revenues of 15% of GDP. We spend 20% of GDP. The difference is 5% of GDP that we are down. For the less astute like me, that means we take in $4.5 trillion. We spend a little over $6 trillion. Ergo the deficit is approximately $1.5 trillion per year. Duh!

What Ryan did do was put a concept on the table. He wants us to rethink the government’s contract with America. Agree or disagree we have to have that conversation. The citizens of Rome want to have the government do everything but we don’t want to pay for it. A recent poll says 78% percent of us do not want us to touch Medicare to balance the budget. A rather bizarre response but so be it.

Medicare is the main culprit. It was a well meaning program at the start. But that was in 1965. Just for a moment consider the time when a lot of us were coming out of college or the service. Think about how the state of medicine has progressed since then…and of course the cost too. Diagnostics, surgery, heart transplants, knee and hip replacements. The specialties the docs are in today probably did not exist. We made a lot of promises we can’t keep.

With regard to Social Security System, first established in the thirties, our actuarial tables couldn’t have foreseen the post war baby boom much less advances in science. It was really a program for widows and orphans. There was no thought of means testing because prior to the nineties there were very few who were mega rich. We promised again.

The last piece to the puzzle was the prescription drug bill signed into law in 2003. Forget about the merits or execution. We have seen the use of prescription drugs jump almost 100% since then, There are three to four ads every hour plugging this or that. You go to the local practitioner demanding this brand or that and he doesn’t want to say no, even though an older, less expensive one would work just fine. Promises. Promises.

We need our president and members of Congress to get up and tell it like it is. Get Ross Perot to resurrect his charts. We need them not to worry about getting elected but to make business decisions. This cannot be a politics. This freshman class seems to have come from private business rather than the party ranks. We really should listen to what they have to say.

I watched the pundits from all sides. The Dems will trot out the poor and suffering of our country. Not because they feel that way but because it tugs at heartstrings. Who could be against motherhood and apple pie? The Republicans are rallying around Tea Party. Cut all taxes. Do away with every branch of the government. The country as a whole watches in disgust. 15% of Americans have a positive view of our legislative branch. 15%

The bottom line is this. If you want these programs such as Medicare and social Security, you have to pay for them . If you don’t, then take the medicine and pay for it yourselves. Either way we have to do away with the tax cuts for everyone. One reporter said at least we should start with the rich. I say everyone has to be in this. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

On either side please get off your high horse and think about it in an adult way. Not your best interests but the country’s. I say that in all sincerity. Politicians have got to shoot straight. Forget the platitudes and sound bites. Forget about all the backroom BS and come out and lay it on the line. If I hear one more posturing statement I am going to throw up.

A good friend considers my blog diatribes. I hope not because right now they are prayers. There was a highly informative 20 minute interview with former Secretaries of the Treasury, Bob Rubin and Paul O’Neill. Ostensibly a Democrat and a Republican. They should put the whole interview on the evening news rather than the “Wedding.” It was not combative but two guys who had been there, exchanging ideas…and yes agreeing on a lot of things. We need more.

Well I will sign off now. I hope this reaches the ears of Harry Reid and five other senators from both parties who saw fit to go to China on a ten day junket with one of the spots being Macao, the gambling capital of the world. I hope it gets to Congress who is on a two week Easter break. They need it because Congress has met 40 of the first 80 business days of the year. What a workload! Kind of like Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

As always

Ted The Great

 

Factoid:

Medical Costs

Heart Transplant..$790,000

Lung Transplant …one $450,000 two $655,000

Liver Transplant…$523,000

Kidney….$259,000

Knee Replacement…$40-50,000

Hip Replacement….$50-60,000

Dialysis….$90-100,000 per year

Stents…$15-20,000 per

Bypass Surgery…$125,000

Approximately 75 million Baby Boomers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s