It never occurs to our esteemed politicians that slashing spending is the sustainable way to balance a budget. It is the way all us common folk have to do it. We don't walk into our employer's office and demand a raise to meet our personal spending wants and desires. We cut our spending accordingly. These people looking to raise taxes work for us and it is time we tell them what we expect from them.
If every person added up all the taxes they pay in a year they would faint. We pay federal, state (except Florida and Texas) and sometimes local income taxes, sales tax, personal property tax, real estate tax, gasoline tax, tax on utilities, FICA/Medicare tax (7.65% of gross income and your employer pays the same amount), tax on your cell phone bill, etc. These are just the ones I can think of quickly. There are many more taxes put on businesses that get passed along to the consumer too. I am self employed and can attest to the many, many taxes businesses have to pay. These costs fall right to the consumer.
Now just think of all these new taxes Congress has passed and will be kicking in very soon. Then throw a potential VAT tax on top of everything and I wouldn't be surprised if the average two income, middle class household will be paying over half their income to various levels of government and what do they really get in return for it? I sure don't see nearly any return to me that comes close to equaling what I pay. I would like to know where all this money is spent.
I know one HUGE money pit is our educational system here in the USA. We dump more and more money into it year after year and the quality of the education our children receive declines nearly every year. Slashing school budgets, requiring teachers/administration to perform for pay, build schools for 1/3 the price we do today and granting vouchers to parents that want their children to attend private schools is where I would begin spending cuts if I were made dictator for a day. Then I would tell every government agency at every level that they will return to their 2005 budgets and will receive annual increases of 1/3 the inflation rate for a given year. I could go on and on. Oh, I would also slash taxes across the board to stimulate economic growth. Then when the revenue to the government starts to rise I wouldn't let spending rise more than 1/3 of inflation. This alone would balance the annual budget in short order and allow a meaningful start to paying off the national debt.
Also, the minimum age for retirement has to increase. When it was set at 65 over 70 years ago the average life span was far lower than it is today and what it will be in the future. We can't afford to have people living to 100+ years and still let them retire at 65. Retirement age needs to be tied to the national life expectancy figures. Giving a privatization option for Social Security is another good idea as is privatizing Medicare. Basically, we have to shrink the size of government across the board or it will break the backs of every American except the greedy politicians that perpetuate our current path of self destruction. They will always find a way to prosper and live like royalty if left unchecked like they are today.