Even Republican economists, such as David Stockman and Bruce Bartlett (Reagan and Bush, Sr.'s economic advisor) maintain that balancing the budget MUST be a mix of increased revenues and spending cuts. Congress has not done much of anything for the past four years, mostly due to partisan politics, as well as many votes being controlled by SuperPacs and the likes of Grover Norquist, and it doesn't look like much is changing. Even if Romney had won the election, as conservative economist Stockman says, "the GOP would have splintered."
A quote from an educator's educated blog The Progressive Professor: "Many past Republican leaders are privately shaking their heads, and see an electoral disaster coming, and we are seeing moderate conservative Republican Senators such as Olympia Snowe of Maine, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and Richard Lugar of Indiana, all three leaving, with Lugar not by his own choice, bemoaning the turn of events toward unreasonable extremism, and failure to be willing to cross the aisle for support from Democrats."
"Former Senator Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson is another Republican who has condemned present Republican attitudes, and many former George H. W. Bush aides quietly have joined the Reagan former advisers in calling for an end to the extremism of the present Republican Party."
MY SUGGESTION TO FIX THE FISCAL CRISIS: on Nov. 11, 2012, 60 Minutes did a segment on a program in Nevada, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. The program is sponsored by manufacturers, and involves a crash course on robotics and computerized manufacturing, re-training unemployed workers.
The results? The very enthusiastic participants in the re-education program landed jobs immediately. They were thrilled to be getting $12/hour PLUS benefits...and the possiblity of a career path.
This started me thinking....what if motivated unemployed people, as well as high school and wannabe college students were tested for competancy AND ethics, and qualified individuals were offered a crash course in Macroeconomics, governance and ethics. They could then replace the existing Congress, working at $12/hour WITH benefits. And, if they were successful at balancing the budget, they would get an immediate raise....in line with the general population and cost of living.
The savings on Congressional lifetime salaries alone (along with lifetime cadillac benefits) would put a good dent in the burden on the taxpayers. And really....what have we got to lose? A group of monkeys couldn't do much worse than our shamefully incompetent Congress.