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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Kinzinger on Fiscal Politics

Our recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. 

2). Even though 2/3rds of spending are social security and Medicare/Medicare, don’t say you’ll cut those it’s unpopular.  (Quick aside, these are unsustainable and making changes for people my age and younger to save it wouldn’t be bad)…

3) vaguely talk about fraud and waste.  Sure there is some, but nothing that would even make a dent.  But people don’t know that so just rail against the waste and move on.

4). Go after foreign aid (except Israel).  Foreign aid is a tiny part of the budget- it’s less than ONE PERCENT- but most people assume it’s up to 1/4th.  Also foreign aid is cheaper than war and mostly is spent on American products.

5) never discuss raising any taxes ever.  Even though most people would pay more tax if they knew govt was cutting and making a dent in debt they would support it.  But if you talk about it you will lose next election·

6) even though everyone knows SS and Medicare need reformed, it’s a potent political issue (my first race they spent 1 million against me saying i wanted to cut SS). It creates fear, and it’s a great political issue.  Political meth

7) Defense: yes there is money that can be saved in procurement etc. To start, about 1/3rd of defense spending is on people.  Pay/healthcare/etc. China and Russia beat us on supersonics, because cuts hurt investment.  (May do a deeper thread on defense). Remember inflation too

8). The key here is the political issue.  Reps can hit dems for spending and “wanting to raise taxes.”  Dems can hit reps on “cuts to the most vulnerable and seniors and children and puppies.”  Both are potent

9). You’ll hear about the “penny plan” which sounds so easy but is a massive joke and unrealistic talking point.  Just cut one penny on every dollar for five years for 5% cut.  It’s perfect for talking points, but it’s actually a cut of close to 15% depending on inflation…

for everything.  Roads, military, SS, Medicare, law enforcement, parks, everything.  And when they start exempting all the popular stuff, well now it’s deeper on other things (roads etc) or completely ineffective…

10). In truth, we need to slowly bring the debt under control so it grows slower than the economy.  By the way, a debt default is economic malpractice and will add hundreds of billions in borrowing costs.  So, we need some revenue increase and some spending cuts but…

11) it’s unpopular of course.  So either everyone needs to jump off the bridge together (pardon the metaphor) or do nothing and pretend like it’s all ok.  Any guess what will happen?  And yes EVERYONE (including me) owns this problem.

12). Lastly, as the debt ceiling is debated and Reps talk about spending cuts, media and citizens need to ask for specifics.  What will you cut specifically.  If they punt to dept heads, remind them that CONGRESS appropriates money.  Specifics, not slogans/ END