SEARCH BLOG: GOVERNMENT
With the Michigan more-or-less open primary coming in about a week [you have to select a party ballot, but you don't have to be a member of the party], it would be good to look at the issues as seen by the candidates. Rick Santorum is making the biggest splash right now in the GOP field, so it reasonable to see what he says. Here are his positions on the financial issues... from the Rick Santorum website.
- Live within our means so that America, our families, and our future generations will have a brighter future unburdened with oppressive debt and high taxation.
- Prioritize our national security and defense
- Refocus the federal government on constitutional priorities and parameters
- Consolidate duplicative programs and agencies
- Promote competition for provision of essential services
- Eliminate outdated, ineffective, and wasteful programs
- Empower State and Local Governments through partnership, block grants, and reserving functions for the States
- Reform and Modernize Medicare since reducing healthcare costs is a prerequisite for our long term success and economic strength
- Reforming Social Security which is essential for solvency, sustainability, and real retirement security
- Commit to cut $5 trillion of federal spending within
52 years. [REAL, NOT PROPOSED OR BUDGETED SPENDING]
- Implement Strong America Now reform through Lean Six Sigma management process as a key engine for cutting government waste and improving efficiency.
- Immediately reduce federal (non-defense discretionary spending) to 2008 levels through across the board spending cuts.
- Freeze defense spending levels for 5 years and reject automatic cuts.
- Freeze spending levels for social programs for 5 years such as Medicaid, Housing, Education, Job Training, and Food Stamps, time limit restrictions, and block grant to the States like in Welfare Reform.
and ReplaceObamaCare with market based healthcare innovation and competition to improve America’s and Americans health, control costs, improve quality and access, and to keep and create jobs which provide resources for healthcare.
- Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution capping government spending at 18% of GDP so that Congress and the President will need to balance the budget like Governors are required to do.
- Pass legislation to reform the Congressional Budget Process and support legislation to require Congress to pass constitutionally required spending bills on time or not get paid the next fiscal year.
- Implement Medicare Reforms and Innovation proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan and speed up their implementation to control healthcare costs and improve quality.
- Reform Social Security and place on a sustainable path by a combination of reforms such as addressing adjusting CPI, dependent benefits and disability income benefits reforms, moving back the retirement age for younger workers, means testing benefits, annual adjustments as needed, and dedicating Social Security payroll taxes to Social Security.
- Implement reforms and cost savings of up to $100 billion in March 2011 GAO report requested by Senator Coburn listing 34 areas of duplication and waste.
- Stop implementation of any remaining federal stimulus spending.
- Freeze pay for non-defense related federal employees for four years, cut workforce by 10% with no compensatory increase in contract workforce, and phase out defined benefit plans for newer workers.
- Eliminate all energy subsidies and most agriculture subsidies within four years. [distinguish between "subsidies" and normal tax accounting rules]
- Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood [... and other tax-exempt organizations] and use half of the dollars to support adoption instead.
- Cut EPA resources for job killing regulations and return focus to commonsense conservation and safe and clean air and water.
- Cut in half the number of State Department USAID employees and US funding for United Nations programs.
- Eliminate funding for implementation of Dodd/Frank regulatory burdens.
- Eliminate funding for implementation of ObamaCare.
- Cut funding for National Labor Relations Board for decision preventing airplane factory in South Carolina.
- Eliminating funding for United Nations’ agencies which oppose America’s interests and promote abortion and cut the US contribution to the UN in half.
- Phase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years.
- Sell unproductive and wasteful federal properties.
- Transition Team will review all spending cut proposals and restructuring reforms of the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, American Enterprise Institute, and the Simpson-Bowles Commission for additional savings.
In fiscal year 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)--the agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid--estimated that these programs made a total of over $70 billion in improper payments. [Government Accounting Office]One further point: Rick Santorum has stated elsewhere that he would not let his views on abortion color his judgment as President. Several points above refer to targeting funding for abortions. While I agree in principle, such targeting distracts from the central points of responsible government and sets up strawmen for opposition arguments.