Day 17 - No Vision, No Goals, No Plan, No Hope

I call this Day 17 because the Fiscal Cliff Deal was signed on January 1st and we still have seen no coherent vision, goals, or plan from our GOP leadership. I will give them a small pass since they are having their Retreat but I expect something next week. Here is a Press Release from Republican leadership I would like to see. It may not be as hardline as many would like but I think it is the right for America:

For Immediate Release from the Republican Congressional Caucus

Recently President Obama has said that America “must pay it’s bills” and that “we are not a deadbeat nation”. He was making reference to the common term “deadbeat dads”, those fathers who do not pay child support for their children. But what do you call a father who pays his child support by borrowing money that his children must pay back. This is the situation that the we, the citizens of the United States, find ourselves in and it is unacceptable for all Americans. The Republican Party believes that an efficient, responsible, and  smaller government which allows its hardworking citizens to retain most of their earnings is proper and necessary in order for there to be prosperity for all in the current and future generations. We also believe that unnecessary government rules, regulations, and laws ultimately lead to less freedom for all. Out of control spending only feeds an unnecessarily authoritarian government in addition incurring unimaginable debt that our children will have to pay back.The GOP proposes to take the following actions to correct this:

1. The House will immediately vote to extend the current debt limit up to September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

2. The House will extend any upcoming spending resolutions and appropriations Bills up to only the end of the current fiscal year.

3. The House will immediately begin working on bipartisan legislation which will be aimed solving at our current spending crisis and reducing our deficits to balance our budget.

4. In order to resolve our long-term spending crisis the GOP caucus feels that we must separate Social Security and Medicare which are contributory programs that are mainly funded by the individuals who receive, or will receive benefits, away from the rest of the Federal Budget. We will no longer call these programs Entitlements because the people who receive the benefits paid for those benefits over the long run. Our goal is to ensure that these programs are long-term sustainable via the funding by their contributors. Our goal is also to separate funding for these two important programs away from other federal programs and place the funds into a “lock box” to keep them separated from the rest of Federal operations. We will fight now and in the future to keep these 2 programs, which are core to American society, sustainable and separate from other Federal spending.

5. We will then begin deliberations on ways to reduce our long-term deficits with the goal of a balanced budget using the Simpson-Bowles Recommendation, the Ryan Plan, and previous House budgets as a basis. We would request that the Senate work diligently to pass a budget since they have not passed any budget since 2009.We also view a much simpler and fairer tax code for individuals and businesses as a key component for a balanced budget. We also view allowing the individual States to retain as much fiscal control as possible for their citizens and will work toward this end in reducing Federal control and spending.

6. We would ask are our Republican counterparts in the Senate to work with the Democratic majority to work on the same goals in a bipartisan manner so that by the end of the current fiscal year we can have a long-term deficit reduction agreement which is good for all America. This agreement must contain sufficient controls and safe guards which automatically take effect in the events deficit rise again. The Sequester spending cuts will remain in place in current form but we welcome working with our Democrat counterparts in the near term to  put in place a plan which better meets the needs of the American people while still preserving the spending cuts. The Republican leadership view this as an opportunity to show good faith by both parties that we can work together.

7. We intend to work diligently with our Democratic counterparts in the House and Senate to come to a resolution on our long-term deficit problem. We can all agree that long-term deficits are harmful to future generations by reducing the value the dollar which will soon to especially impact our poor and our seniors and which will saddle unconscionable debt upon our children and grandchildren. If at the end of this fiscal year we do not have a long-term budget agreement that reduces our deficits and balances our budget in the long term  then the House will only vote and approve a budget measure which resets all spending back to 2006 levels (adjusted down for War spending) with the exception of Social Security and Medicare. These will continue at their current levels unless a separate agreement is reached which makes these programs sustainable long term.