Late this evening Congress put an end to the manufactured crisis of funding the government into the new fiscal year and extending the debt limit. Both of these matters will not come up again until early in 2014. In principle, these extensions will give the Congress time to create some problem-solving legislation to address long term solvency of the country.
First, we need a simple and fair revision of the tax code that will, in effect, raise revenues. A flat tax would be fine if the excessive subsidies and tax loop holes for special interests (both individuals and businesses) are cut or eliminated simultaneously. Second, cuts in entitlements and in the defense budget will need to be made. On entitlements, we need to make small cuts at first while realizing that larger ones may come later unless we apply means testing and age of program start-up in the entitlement programs and, at the same time see that we can no longer afford to spend ten times more on defense than is spent by any other nation or about the same amount as is spent by the next ten nations combined. The Congress has only been pretending to work on these serious matters. In fact, the Congress until today has worked on by little other that an endless series of attempts to defund the ACA (also known as Obamacare). That has apparently stopped.
Immigration policy needs review and revision. The matter had been taken up earlier but was derailed by the Congress played its silly games who have hopefully now come to an end. Obamacare needs to be implemented and national healthcare policy reviewed regularly as becomes necessary.