My Plan to Balance the Budget

To be honest, I am writing this blog to take advantage of a nifty little application The New York Times published a few months ago that actually makes the task of balancing the budget fun (No, really, I’m serious).

I first tried to come up with a plan that balanced the budget without any tax increases. Amazingly, it is possible, but draconian. This is what I call “The Draconian Option.”

Then, I came up with a more reasonable and balanced plan, which I call “The Sensible Option.” This plan balances the budget with 19% of the savings from tax increases and 82% from spending cuts.

Either way, I encourage folks to come up with their own plans using this great little application.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
This entry was posted in Business, Defense, Education, Energy Security, Finance and Economics, Healthcare, International Security, Policy, Politics, Predictions, Social Security, War and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to My Plan to Balance the Budget

  1. Scott Erb says:

    As a fiscal conservative who thinks taxes are too low, I had a mix of tax increases and spending cuts that put us in deep surplus both by 2015 ($400 billion surplus) and by 2030 a surplus of $1200 billion. I would use that to make strategic economic investments (especially infrastructure) and then revamp the tax code completely to be revenue neutral (after paying down some of the debt). Note: I got to my number 50% by spending cuts and 50% by tax increases. If I had done just spending cuts (which include significant military cuts as well as significant entitlement reform) I’d almost make it with that alone. So gee, it doesn’t seem that hard!

    With the kids screaming I did this really fast so I may run through it again. But for now: if you want a deficit hawk who doesn’t care about ideology, will raise taxes significantly, cut spending significantly and do what’s necessary to get the country back on the right track so we can remove debt as a problem, reinvest in infrastructure, and ultimately reduce taxes to a sustainable revenue neutral level, vote for me!

  2. V. R. Kaine says:

    Fun app! I went draconian on my first pass (80%+ from cuts) and then went more moderate on the second (35%/65%).

    Interesting, Sean, that you opted to reduce troop levels to 30,000 by 2013. Think that’s enough to do the job/get the job done over there?

    • We should never have surged in Afghanistan. The mission there should be counterterrorism, not counterinsurgency. Predator drones work well enough. Democratizing a culture incapable of practicing democracy is an expensive fool’s errand.

      I would leave the majority of the troops in Iraq, which has stabilized since the surge.

  3. V. R. Kaine says:

    A significant difference for my “plan” was the Estate Tax. I’d take more of a hit there for more favorable investment taxes, considering that large estate taxes can be reasonably offset with insurance as long as that market stays competitive and we stay healthy. This assumes as well that there is a reasonable exemption bar set.

  4. Scott Erb says:

    I think we can mix an increase in taxes (consumption tax, taxes on the wealthy) with cuts in entitlements (limit Medicare growth, increase the retirement age — I’d go to 72), cuts in military spending (I think we don’t need a 20th century military in the 21st century unless Libya represents a new norm) and a bank tax. Really reform entitlements and cut defense spending and it’s not hard to get an excess to pay down the debt, assure a strong dollar, and invest for future productivity (get a new comparative advantage, turn around our current account deficit). But the Democrats will kill me on entitlements and the Republicans, especially the tea party, will tar and feather me on tax increases.

  5. “But the Democrats will kill me on entitlements and the Republicans, especially the tea party, will tar and feather me on tax increases.”

    And that’s the rub. The only real way to fix this is to have a mandatory Debt Commission in which a bipartisan panel comes up with a plan and the Congress can only vote up or down. No riders, no amendments, etc.

    The Base Realignment and Closure Commissions (BRAC) worked in a similar manner and were successful as a result.

  6. Pingback: Use Multiple Media to Engage Your Audience: Ten Lessons From Four Months of Blogging (Part IX) | Reflections of a Rational Republican

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