Current discussions concerning the fiscal cliff are much like an argument over which type of bullet one should shoot him/herself with. Here’s a common sense reality check on what the framework for a solution needs to look like:
- Spending has to fall. It should always trail revenue. It’s that simple.
- Taxing the rich is not the answer. Flat taxes for specific programs and user fees are the answer. If programs are too expensive when allocated as a flat tax or user fees across all citizens that will benefit, then they are too expensive for society.
- Lobbies need to be neutralized since they are the major driver of out of control spending. There will be repeats of the fiscal cliff over and over again as long as lobbies—corporate, labour and social causes—control politicians. The free riding from the left and the right each need to be slashed.
- The size of the permanent government needs to be slashed, and services don’t need to be cut while doing so, since many government roles can be converted from ‘careers’ to ‘workfare’ opportunities.