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Fiscal Cliff Notes: How We Got Here and Where Do We Go? (An Outline)

For those of you who have asked, I have produced an outline of my recent talk on the Fiscal Cliff: How We Got Here & Where Do We Go? This is a handy cheat sheet that outlines the problems that contributed to our current situation and what we can do to make long-lasting, systemic changes. Share far and wide.

A. How Did We Get Here?

1. Spending
a) Spending up estimated 27% since 2008 (cite: Forbes)
b) Trillion dollar deficits each year since 2009 (cite: OMB)
c) Debt-GDP ratio up from just over half of GDP in 2009 to nearly three-fourths in 2012. (cite: Heritage)

2. Taxes
a) Bush “tax cuts”
b) Uncertainty with tax rates
c) New taxes slated for 2013

3. Entitlements
a) Social Security
b) Medicare/Medicaid
c) Food Stamps
d) Disability

4. Healthcare
a) Cost of Obamacare – $1.93 Trillion in first decade (cite: Weekly Standard)
b) Taxes associated with Obamacare
1. Health Insurers Tax
2. Surtax on Investment Income: (3.8%)
3. Health care deduction AGI haircut (from 7.5% – to 10%)
4. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax: (.9%)
5. Medical Excise Tax

5. Regulations
a) Code of Federal Regulations has increased by 11,327 pages — a 7.4% increase since 2009
b) Examples
1. EPA
2. FDA
3. NRLB
4. IRS

B. Where Do We Go?

1. Cut Spending
a) First, go back to FY2008 spending levels
b) Cut Federal Workforce by at least 10%, which should be commensurate with spending cuts
c) Enact Spending Caps to 19%-20%

2. Tax Reform
a) Make “Bush Tax Cuts” Permanent
b) Lower corporate rate and all tax margins
c) Simplify the tax code
d) Eliminate AMT

3. Entitlement Reform
a) Social Security
1) Raise the retirement age
2) Privatization options
3) Change from current to straight inflation increase
b) Food Stamps/Disability Overhaul
1) Fraud and abuse
2) Stricter guidelines

4. Healthcare Reform
a) Repeal Obamacare
b) Tort Reform
c) Create system more like HSA

5. Regulation Reform
a) Repeal strangling regulations – is this possible?

Crossposted at alanjoelny.com

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