One of my favorite jokes is I would like to become emperor for a month and fix all of the problems we have in our country. It’s not like I have a crystal ball, but I think there are some obvious things politicians and the talking heads on TV consistently miss when it comes to dealing with the promises were not going to be able to keep (at least the present ones we have).
Here are my 4 favorite things I would like to see changed to fix our economic problems:
Entitlement Programs – When social security was first enacted the life expectancy in the country was 63 years old. Today that life expectancy is in the late 70’s. If we’re to get our entitlement programs back into line, we should think about changing the eligibility age for social security and Medicare to at least the early 70’s.
We should also change social security disability and loosen the eligibility for those who are over 62 years old. Those who can’t continue to do hard labor (construction) type of jobs would be eligible to collect earlier. We would also have to make sure that medical insurance companies use community rating so those older Americans could get medical insurance at a “reasonable” price until they reached the age of eligibility for Medicare.
The Military – It makes no sense that the United States should spend more than the next ten countries combined for it’s national defense. We have significantly more firepower than we need and as a result we tend to trot this ability out to other parts of the world and work towards “nation building”. It’s time that we go back to the levels of military spending we had under the Clinton Administration and even make larger cuts. We just can’t afford the size military we have and the interventionists policies that we’ve developed.
Tax policy – It’s not only the rich. We do need to change tax policy on the richest Americans. They do need to pay more, but so does everyone else. Right now we have close to 50% of Americans not paying any income taxes. This just isn’t fair. If we’re all to participate in the good things that our country has to offer, then we all need to participate in paying a “fair” level of taxes to support those activities.
Public workers compensation packages – Thirty years ago people went to work for the government knowing they were going to make less money, but their job security was going to be very strong. Today according to John Mauldin we have a situation where government workers are paid on average 40% more than their private sector counterparts. This is more than unsustainable. There is no reason government workers should have this sort of bonus and it needs to be brought under control if we’re to reign in our government debt issues.
These are my big four of changes I would like to see our government make. These ideas are mine and do not reflect the thoughts of other people at Stage 2 Planning or NFP Securities.
I would love to hear your comments or ideas on this blog entry. Please contact me at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com or click on this link to set a time to speak with me.
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