What's done is done. We cannot win back the costs of a misguided war, just as we cannot bring back the precious lives lost. But we can take steps right now to start realizing a better vision for the country.
Want to cut something like $850 billion from the next 10 years of budgeting? End the War. There's a novel budget-cutting idea, eh, folks? The Drug War has now cost us roughly the same amount as the Iraq War, to put it in context -- $2 trillion each.
Given the extent to which this part of the budget is already shrinking, there's simply no way to cut it by more than an additional $1 trillion without causing significant harm both now and in the future.
Next time you see one of these CEOs on TV lecturing about belt-tightening, keep in mind who's talking. The stakes in this debate are extremely high for ordinary Americans who work hard every day but still have to worry about their retirement security.
The budget just released by House Republicans marks the culmination of an important, long-term shift in the Republican Party. Over the last several decades, the party has abandoned political conservatism and embraced its opposite: an agenda of radical, experimental reform.
My career was going very well, I was healthy in every usual sense of the word, until this rare condition became a problem. Drawing on "entitlements" at a young age was not my plan. No one saw this coming, but thank goodness for those safety-net programs our country has in place.
It would be possible to cut the Federal Aviation Administration budget in a far less disruptive way than the sequestration plan outlined by the agency's administrator. Was it about grandstanding and budget hype?
This year Families in Transition in Seminole County Florida is serving 2026 children at last count who have no place to call home. This problem has gotten worse, even as we come out of the recession, Florida is still experiencing an 11 percent increase in child homelessness.
Dear House Republicans: In the heated debates over the federal deficit, you have said repeatedly that you want to cut it without raising taxes and, therefore, that you must reduce government spending. If that is the case, I have a suggestion for you: Why not start by cutting the nuclear weapons budget?
What if we rather considered this a sudden boon in terms of freed up resources for the good? How about picturing the move from swords to plowshares? We seem to be spending more than half of our tax revenues on military stuff and that has been increasing by about 9 percent per year.
Sequestration Nation? Department of Defense schools stillhaven't learned the extend of the effects of sequestration cuts, a fact that has rankled DoD teachers and families across the globe, we report. DoD schools across the globe could face up to 22 days of furloughs, but the body that governs these schools is still figuring it out. Some teachers want to find other cuts. "It seems odd that we're told we're mission-essential, but now, we can suddenly be furloughed," one teacher in the UK told me.
It isn't Social Security and Medicare that are killing other social programs, but Republican refusal to support them. The ratio of public debt to GDP is roughly stable for the next decade. If we begin making cuts now, whether in Social Security and Medicare, or in other outlays, we will slow the recovery. That will only worsen the debt ratio over the long term, and at a depressed level of economic output. Republicans do resist higher taxes, but at times Democrats have prevailed in raising taxes on the rich -- with the full support of the voters. President Clinton managed it in 1993, and even President Obama, though he settled for too skimpy a bargain, got Republicans to vote for a $630 billion tax hike on the top one percent last January. Faced with a choice of cuts in Social Security and Medicare or tax increases on the wealthy, polls show that most voters opt for the taxes.
Paul Ryan introduced his version of the Republican budget this week, and it seems Ryan has agreed that two or three of President Obama's biggest budget victories actually do significantly cut the deficit, and are therefore worth including in the Republican plans for the future.
As expected, Obama's "second honeymoon" in the polls is starting to fade. The election is long over, the inauguration is fading from memory, and now the real legislative struggles of Obama's second term have begun.
The sequestration's full effects are not all clear, but it will severely impede scientific progress across the country, along with various public health programs.
The New York Times reports, "The sword of Damocles turns out to be made of Styrofoam." But the sword feels much sharper for families, advocates, and local officials who rely on government funding to treat and care for those with mental illness.