I have taken quite a long break from blogging. The election cycle was exhausting and everybody had an opinion about everything. It didn’t seem like one more voice could add much of anything to the conversation. I am not sure this post will serve to announce “I am back”, but let’s just say I am back for today. I have been paying some attention to all the fiscal cliff shenanigans. Sometimes I think this whole thing is an invention of Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. What else would they possibly be yakking about 24 hours a day if not for the cliff? I tend to fall on the side of those who believe a deal will get done. In fact, of course a deal will get done. It’s only a matter of when and what the deal looks like. I don’t hold out much hope for significant reform ever coming out of this Congress, but, that said, they will all make a deal and then scream about how the other side refused to be reasonable. We’ve seen this movie before and we will see it again.
I was thinking, though, on my early morning drive down the Connector here in Atlanta that even for a left leaning centrist like myself, that there are tons of things I would cut if I were king. I don’t pretend this is an exhaustive list not even a brilliant one. Let’s call it Schall’s list of things he could do without.
–I plan on working past 62 or 65 or whenever Social Security kicks in so I am good with raising the retirement age. We all live way too long these days so why not have a few more of those years be productive ones.
–Speaking of living too long, having just been through both parents’ passing on to another world and coming to understand how much money is spent on the last few months of our collective lives, I am just fine with capping medical expenses tied to one’s age. I don’t actually have any real system in mind for this, but I kind of like the simplicity of the idea. At age 85, if it takes more than $250,000 to get you to 86, you are out of luck. At age 90, maybe that number gets reduced to $100,000 in order to make it to 91. Or how about some new version of Let’s Make a Deal? You can either have $100,000 towards medical care or what’s behind curtain two: an all expense paid trip to Greece for the rest of your life or six months, whichever comes first. I’d be on the plane in a heartbeat.
–A friend sent me this statistic this morning. It costs over $90,000 a year to incarcerate a juvenile and less than $12,000 to educate him well.
–Sticking to Law and Order, just how much has this War on Drugs cost and where has it gotten us? How about if we all move to Colorado?
–We are still rounding up, detaining and deporting thousands of undocumented workers a year at an exorbitant cost. How’s that working?
–I recently obtained a “Get through airport security without taking your shoes off” pass. TSA has become a massive bureaucracy. If I can get one of these passes having travelled to places like Cuba, China, and the Middle East, what about the rest of us?
–The Defense Budget? Don’t even get me started. If we didn’t have such a bloated military, we would have been a whole lot less likely to enter into two tragic wars that killed and maimed too many people to even imagine (and cost us an arm and a leg in money as well).
–Does anyone know how much money we spend tracking “sex offenders” of all type for their lifetimes and what good any of that does us?
I am just getting started. Want to add to the list?