When you remove all of the bluster, the economic issues facing the United States in 2012 are pretty simple – as a country we are spending far more than we have and that we are heading for an economic brick wall. The old ways of throwing money at problems have to be over, but neither party seems to be hearing that message.
There are many many noble ways to spend public dollars – that can no longer be the sole rationale for spending tax dollars. It is a zero sum game and part of that “zero sum” includes managing and reducing the current credit card bills (called national debt).
There will be of course those that will claim that the 1% should pay a higher percentage of the debt pay off and in a way I agree. To the extent that the 1% is receiving tax forgiveness or has special corporate welfare benefits, those should be ended and the playing field leveled. The naivete of the Occupy movement is in thinking that somehow making the 1% pay more taxes solves the problem when the reality is that if the 1% was taxed 100% it would make only the tiniest dent in the deficit.
There will also be those in power in corporate America that will try and continue to play the tax forgiveness/corporate welfare game by trying to continue tax avoidance policies that benefit individual companies and not the country as a whole. They continue to have significant political pull because they can be major players in the high stakes and high dollars game of elections. As long as we have politicians will to “sell” their vote for corporate welfare, corporate welfare will continue.
We all need to make sacrifices. There is no silver bullet, no quick fix and frankly nothing left to do but roll up our sleeves and each take a fair turn at making the sacrifices necessary to end insane government spending.