Sitting in my comfortable chair last night, I was a bit too relaxed to read. I was sure I would just find myself reading the same paragraph over and over as I fought falling to sleep. So I turned on the TV to see if there was anything on worth watching. To my surprise, just as I turned on the tube, there was a “breaking story.” John Boehner, Republican House Leader had called a press conference about the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations and it seemed all the networks were falling all over themselves getting trying to get the scoop on the obvious last second breakthrough that was sure to be the subject of the presser.
MSNBC even rousted its star, Chris Matthews to step in front of a camera to give his words of wisdom as to what was about to happen. Matthews was clear and concise, “It is obvious that Mr. Boehner has seen the light and now knows that he and his party cannot win in their fight with President Obama. He likely made a deal with Mr. Obama to salvage at least the opportunity to make the big announcement before the White House does so he can spin things a bit his way and save a little face. I can’t wait to see how this obvious loss to the superior position taken by the President will be spun by Boehner.”
It was a typical press conference. Boehner stood at a podium flanked by American Flags. Boehner had a stern expression as he began to speak.
“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen for taking time out of your Sunday evening to help me reach out to the American People to explain how serious the situation will be if we allow our country to fall over the fiscal cliff.
“First, I want to personally apologize to the American people for my behavior over the past few months as we have debated Deficit Spending, the National Debt, our Economy and how to get it growing again, and, of course, the ‘fiscal cliff’. I would apologize for all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in the administration, but I will leave that for them. They must live with their actions and they owe their power and position to those they have deceived.
“I have not taken our discussion seriously. In fact, I have been more interested in the political theater and the gamesmanship than doing what was right. Rather than address the issue at hand, the balance of revenue and spending at the Federal Government level, I have been playing oneupsmanship. For this, I am truly sorry and I deeply apologize.
“That behavior stops right now. From this point onward, my job, and I hope the job of all my colleagues here in Washington is to do what is best for the American People. Tonight, I will propose a plan that is a radical departure from what we have been offering to the Democrats, the White House, and The American Taxpayers.
“I will ask my party to draft a bill to resolve the ‘fiscal cliff’ debate and will allow us to move, using President Obama’s word, “Forward,” in bringing our country back to its former greatness. Here is the Cliff’s Notes version of the Four Key Points in the Bill I will propose:
” One. We recognize that all the debate of the last 3 months has been about politics, not reality. We have been locked in a debate, fraught with creating class envy, assigning blame, and who is the party that is looking out for you, the middle class. We have fought over window dressing, a meager few percent of the taxation and spending problem. The reality is that in spite of the hard work of the people of our country, our economy is in bad shape because our government leaders have been living beyond their means. They, or should I say We, have been spending money we did not have. If, and only if, we can control our spending habits will we be able to bring stability back to our economy and create an environment where innovation is encouraged, business investments will be made, and new private sector jobs will be created. To do this we will create a plan that WILL bring Federal Government Spending in balance with our revenues within 10 years time.
” Two. Today we are bringing in about $2.1 Trillion dollars in tax revenue each year. Over the past 25 years with four exceptions we have spent more than we have received. In those 25 years, as your government leaders, we have spent, on average, $141 Billion more than we have received in revenue each year. In the last four years, we have spent an average of 9 times that – $1,276 Billion or $1.276 Trillion more than we have taken in each year. This is the road to financial collapse, like that currently being taken by many countries in Europe. We must stop our overspending. My Bill will include a provision that will require that the Budget of the United States must be 5% lower than the previous year, each year for the next ten years or, until the spending budget is in balance with our income. It will be difficult to do, but not as hard as seeing our economy collapse. We will have to prioritize how we spend our tax revenues. Sadly, there is little such fiscal responsibility being taken in Washington today. We fight harder over whether ‘rich people’ should pay more taxes than we do about whether our government should prioritize expenditures and live within a budget as taxpayers must.
” Three. We will treat all Americans in a like manner whether they be poor or rich, black or white, married or single. I will propose a Bill that will specifically allow the Current tax rates based on the Bush tax cuts to expire. For everyone. Determining how much each person should pay for Government Services should not be based on the Karl Marx view of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.
” Four. My bill will start the process of moving away from the current Rube Goldberg Tax Code to a new tax code that will be simpler, more fair, and built for the purpose of collecting the revenue that we need to run the government that we need. It will not be a tax code for the purpose of engineering social change. It will not be a tax code for the purpose of providing those with money the tools to pay less. Nor will it be a tax code that will punish taxpayers for being married or a producer of traditional power sources or a taxpayer who diligently saves for the future. We will start by lowering all rates on a ten year schedule while at the same time removing deductions, also on a 10 year schedule. Our current government revenue is about 16% of our GDP but it is projected to rise to over 19% in the next 4 years. The goal of my Bill will be change our tax code, within 10 years, to reduce Federal revenue as a percentage to less than 15% of GDP and cut spending such that we have a surplus of revenue.
” That’s it. First, as your government leaders, we will get serious and focus on the first priority item on our agenda, resolving the dual issues of overspending and unfair taxation. Second, we will commit to reducing spending by 5% per year for 10 years or until we balance our budget. Third, We will do this while letting the Bush tax cuts expire on all citizens and creating a new tax code that is both more fair and less complex than what it replaces. Last, we will write a new tax code that will phase in over a ten year period that will be a tool to generate needed revenue not a tool for social engineering.
“Please report this to your audiences: Your government will stop playing games. It will address key issues not distractions. If any member of Congress or the Administration does not want to take governing seriously, does not want to cut spending and does not want a fair and simple tax code, please ask them why. I suspect they will answer that this is the wrong plan at the wrong time or that it will hurt the middle class. If this is the response, what they really mean is they like the status quo because it gives them inordinate power and privilege. Call their bluff. Make those of us in Congress and Government Leadership your servants. We have had it the other way around for too long. There is no reason not to start now. Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s start back on the road to the greatness that was America before it was highjacked by its government.