More good thinking about the “budget crisis”

The three articles below describe major approaches to addressing the deficit — for health care, taxes and the military — that would have a greater impact on America’s budget woes than ANYTHING being currently negotiated by Congress and the Obama Administration.

1. HOW TO SAVE A TRILLION DOLLARS
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/how-to-save-a-trillion-dollars

2. TAXES ON THE WEALTHY: NEW TOP BRACKETS NEEDED FOR THE “HAVE MORES”
http://www.ourfiscalsecurity.org/taxes-matter/

3. WANT TO IMPROVE US NATIONAL SECURITY? CUT THE DEFENSE BUDGET
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/1007/Want-to-improve-US-nati…
( short URL http://bit.ly/fLWbWp )

Even beyond reducing the deficit, these three things would, if implemented, actually improve the quality of life in the U.S., instead of degrading it, as so many of the current proposals would do. They give a taste of some excellent thinking emerging from the fringes of this “budget crisis” debate.

(Note: After I wrote this I was alerted to another very interesting “People’s Budget” recently released with little coverage in the mainstream media, which I recommend to those interested in alternatives.
http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/The%20CPC%20FY2012%20Budget.pdf )

When I imagine a Citizens Jury, a Citizens Assembly, or any other randomly selected body of citizens convened to deliberate about the “budget crisis”, this is the kind of information I believe they should be exposed to. We don’t need to undermine public health to create affordable health care. We don’t need to undermine the wealth of the nation to have a reasonable tax system. We don’t need to endanger American security to have a strong, affordable military.

We just need to think a bit outside of the boxes that most mainstream media, pundits, politicians and partisan activists (intentionally) put our minds in, and ask ourselves “What’s the REAL problem here — and what would ACTUALLY solve it?”

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