Recently, President Obama has decided to cut federal spending in two ways that I just find so asinine I am in utter disbelief.
Guantanamo Navel Base will be closing and I can not for the life of me understand how this will help, The U.S.A. had it under lease for 99 years at the very large price tag of $1 per year. I myself would have gladly paid that. Russia and China are both bidding for the lease.Cuba is 90 miles from the U.S. , President Kennedy once took us to the brink of war to not allow them to place missiles that close to our borders which in turn would enable them a first strike capability we just can not allow.
Next, President Obama has proposed cutting prolonged health insurance coverage for wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. In short he hopes to save money by allowing these brave men and women to suffer not only their physical wounds but also a financial burden. This is unacceptable in my eyes and any politician that votes yes on this should be immediatly impeached.
Now I would like to mention a few key areas where I see funding should be cut in order to strengthen the economy and decrease the U.S. deficit.
1. End the war in Iraq - It has already cost the U.S. 607 Billion Dollars. About 80% of the soldiers deployed there are single, the act of bringing them home alone would mean mass flow of new money into the U.S. economy every 2 weeks while much of that is currently being banked or spent overseas. As a former Marine I can tell you there is a big boom in car sales each and every time the troops come home which in turn helps out the auto industry as well as the banks who finance the cars. Both of those institutions just recently requested and got approved for bail outs at taxpayers expense.
2. Welfare - Set a 6 month limitation on all government allocated welfare programs. There are families that have lived on the welfare system for years already and will continue to do so until forced to do otherwise. 6 months is sufficient time for anyone that is trying to get back on their feet. In colonial times if you didn't work you didn't eat, they built a great nation by not coddling those too lazy to work.
3. Disability - restructure the criteria for eligibility. There are some very deserving people that are really diabled to the point that they can not work but there are also hundreds of thousands of families recieving checks monthly because their children are diagnosed with ADHD. Years ago ADHD was nothing more than saying the child was a brat and needed discipline at home, parents of unruly children did not get awarded free money for it. ADHD checks should be cut completely.
4. Oil Dependence - The U.S.A. is the largest importer and user of all the worlds oil. As recently as last year OPEC consistently raised the price of a barrel of oil and we all saw gas prices soar. The worst part is that we own the Alaska pipeline and have never used any of the oil it produced. It has been stockpiled in for federal emergencies (W.W. III) Right before President Bush left office he passed a bill to allow the United States to start selling that oil to Japan. Any of President Obamas accountants should be able to sit down with him and explain supply and demand. OPEC raised the prices because we were at war in both Iraq and Afghanistan and war machines demand oil to run. If we simply used the oil we already own and have stockpiled since 1977, we can remove the demand and since we are the largest importer, OPEC would drop prices to whatever we wanted to pay versus what they feel they can get. Any Wal Mart executive could have done a better job on that one.
5.Katrina - So many years and New Orleans is still not rebuilt, focus government spending there. It will not only bring back one of our most historic cities, rebuilding it will means jobs for so many construction workers which in turn lowers the unemployment rate but also strengthens the economy as these workers start spending their paychecks. Its not just the construction workers that benefit either, lumber mills would have to increase production to meet the supply of materials, the same with door shops, window plants, concrete suppliers...the list goes on. Any item purchased with money earned from these new jobs also has to be made someplace and shipped. Everything is like a set of dominoes where the first effects the next.
6. N.A.F.T.A - This was a stupid idea from the start, in the old days a company that imported a product to the U.S.A. was taxed heavily on the product before it could be sold on U.S. soil. N.A.F.T.A. allowes these companies to import these products for free so in turn U.S. companies started moving their factories and plants overseas and into Mexico as a way of obtaining cheaper labor. When the products are brought back into the U.S. the prices are still the same as what they were had the products been made here. In theory the companies figured a cheaper cost to produce yet can still be sold for normal prices = winning. Wrong Answer! More and more companies fell for this way of thinking and more and more Americans lost their jobs that were now being outsourced, hence less people able to afford the products when they arrive back in the U.S.A. The simple act of withdrawing from the N.A.F.T.A. treaty will force these companies to return jobs to U.S. soil or face strict taxes for failure to do so and let's face it, If we can decrease unemployment the economy gets stronger as this new money is spent.
There are 6 simple solutions that would help strengthen our economy. If given a few days to write this post I could have named 60 more. It is time to take our heads out our asses and look at the big picture Mr. President. Every action will influence our economy and saving $1 a year for 99 years is not the solution.