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Friday, July 3rd 2009

Paygo, budget deficits, and income security

Paygo, budget deficits, and income security

Politicians are talking about paygo, and President Obama endorsed the concept a few days ago. Why not? It purportedly worked in the 90s, when President Clinton and the Republican Congress cut government spending and produced a budget surplus.

It’s a simple rule: New spending legislation must include the cuts to pay for it. Pay as you go.

Obama and the Democrats are endorsing it now in response to Republican warnings about the budget deficit. Republicans want to blame Obama and the Democrats for the deficits, ignoring the fact that most of the red ink spilled on their watch, while they controlled Congress with the Bush administration, cutting taxes and launching the war in Iraq.

For some help in cutting through the spin and fear tactics, here’s a very good article from a truly nonpartisan source, Public Agenda.

Paygo: Useful, but Not Nearly Enough

A direct link to an article it recommends,

America’s Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making, is here.

For some “truly terrifying data about the real state of the U.S. economy” (that’s the subtitle), here’s a piece from Slate that has some very good short tables.

All three articles conclude that radical reforms are necessary.

The best way to start, in my view, is with income security for all.

In the 1960s, guaranteed income was a mainstream, moderate idea. Martin Luther King called for it in his last book, and a plan to provide it passed the House of Representatives by two-to-one, but was blocked in the Senate. Proponents including leading economists from the left and the right.

The updated idea is to set some amount, say $1,000 a month, and provide that to every adult citizen. It should be enough for food and shelter, but just enough, so people still have strong incentives to work and earn.

Once that is in place, it will be a lot easier to cut government programs. Everyone will have a basic income, so we’ll be able to cut individual welfare programs. Everyone who’s unemployed or underemployed will be able to manage while they find or create jobs for themselves, so we’ll be able to cut corporate welfare programs that subsidize employers. Cut individual welfare, perhaps eliminating whole programs and agencies. Cut corporate welfare bailouts, subsidies, tax credits, and such. That’s how we pay for the basic income, Citizen Dividends.

Give the same amount to everyone – the hungry and homeless, the middle class, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey – and we create a baseline of economic justice and economic equality. It will be a lot easier for us to work together as We the People to demand that our elected officials enact the necessary reforms. That includes the necessary reforms of our tax code.

The complete plan, the idea, the benefits, and how we can make it happen, is in Peaceful, Positive Revolution,.

Additional information is on the home page and elsewhere on this web site,

Please comment on this blog and help spread the word.

Steven Shafarman

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2 Responses to “Paygo, budget deficits, and income security”

  1. I Make Thousands of Dollars a Month Posting Links on Google from Home Says:

    Hey, great post, really well written. You should write more about this.

  2. Lucky Luck » Paygo, budget deficits, and income security | Income Security for All Says:

    [...] the original post here: Paygo, budget deficits, and income security | Income Security for All This entry is filed under Income. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 [...]