The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 27, 2012

These are problems America can fix

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

I’d like to make a few observations as the media and everyone remotely associated with politics obsesses about the “fiscal cliff.” First of all, it is not a cliff.

True, a number of changes to the tax code and the federal budget are set to kick in Jan. 1. However, disaster does not strike Jan. 1 as everyone seems to assume. People will see a reduction in their take-home pay in their first paychecks after the first of the year, but the effects are cumulative over the course of a year.

If a middle-class family of four sees their taxes go up $2,000 over the next year, only one 12th of that cost is incurred in January. Sequestration cuts to all areas of the federal budget begin Jan. 1, but implementation across the federal system will occur throughout the year. Therefore, the cliff is more of a gentle slope.

Second, the changes are not, in and of themselves, bad. Remember back in 2000 before two rounds of the Bush tax cuts were implemented? We had a budget surplus. Everyone wrings their hands over the size of the federal deficit. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire is one of the best ways to pay down the federal debt everyone claims to be so concerned about.

Third, neither party has a plan that even remotely addresses the deficit they claim their plan will fix. Republicans would have you believe that raising the Medicare eligibility to 67 will eliminate the looming problems with Medicare funding. It won’t and, instead, according to calculations by OK Policy, seniors 65-66 will spend twice as much for their medical care as the government will save by denying them Medicare benefits.

Means testing for Social Security? Not even Republicans believe this idea has a snowball’s chance in hell. Democrats would have you believe that raising the tax rate on the top 2 percent of income earners by a few percents will generate enough tax revenue to make huge inroads on the deficit. It won’t.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014