Here are ten steps toward a balanced federal budget:
Negotiate prescription drug prices in Medicare instead of letting companies “dial for dollars.”
Raise maximum income limits on the collection of Social Security taxes. Substantially.
Offer Medicare to younger persons (55-64) on a sliding scale with actuarially sound rates. This would also improve the job market for younger persons.
Return the Social Security tax to 6.2 percent; that percentage never should have been lowered.
Cap the mortgage interest deduction based on interest payable for the highest FHA insured loan amount in the country, adjustable annually. It is currently $729,750 in San Francisco, so that would be a good guesstimate.
Modify government pension plans to prevent future retirees from receiving obscene amounts, such as $200,000 a year for some retired generals (as an example). How did that even happen?
Remove tax exempt status from so-called “nonprofits” that are paying exorbitant salaries for allegedly “charitable” work.
Reduce defense spending by (among many other things that should be cut) closing most foreign military bases, and stop being the world’s policeman.
Make the income tax more progressive (which worked nicely for decades); eliminate deductions that offer no significant benefit to society. And tell Grover Norquist to get lost.
Require senators who now pretend to filibuster to actually filibuster and stop allowing a tyranny of the minority to rule the U.S. Senate to the detriment of this country.
Richard Whiting, Auburn