Part of it is the political system where you have redistricting, which has meant that you have safer constituencies, which means that the only thing politicians worry about is primary challenges and not general election challenges. Ninety-percent of the House seats are safe in that sense.You have fund-raising which now comes increasingly from the extremes of the parties rather than from the center. And you have the narrowcasting of media, so that if some Republican were to say something suspiciously moderate sounding, it would be denounced by Rush Limbaugh the next day; then, maybe, there would be a primary challenge the day after that; and then funding may start drying up the day after that.Ugg a paris This is not an imaginary situation. Friends of mine who are in Congress who are Republicans have told me this is precisely what happens and, of course, you see it with Orrin Hatch playing out in real life.
So I think that it’s a really serious, long-term problem that actually dwarfs the short-term gimmickry of the budget shutdown.What would your plan for the budget look like?I think that the solution to the budget is actually relatively straightforward, with one caveat. What I would do is this: I would eliminate almost all tax deductions, loopholes and what are called “tax expenditures,” which are effectively giveaways in the tax code that are almost always in return for campaign contributions.The reason the American tax code is 14,000 pages long is that it is a series of giveaways to campaign contributors. And so if you get rid of that the Simpson-Bowles Commission estimates you can get almost a trillion and a half dollars,Ugg a paris or you can reduce rates. I would rather, for now, just keep the money to pay down the debt.
Ugg a paris I would put in a value-added tax because there’s simply no way you can sustain Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security when you’re going to have double the number of people on it in 10 years without some increased revenues.Once you’ve done those two things I think you have to very significantly restructure American entitlements and cut government spending. I think that for Social Security, the retirement age needs to be raised. You need means testing. You need to index it in a different way than it is indexed now so that you don’t have ever-rising benefits. You need to look at discretionary spending very carefully. You need to cut defense spending. There’s no way around it.