Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Fixed the Deficit!

Even though it seems most Americans don't care about the deficit, I've talked plenty about it. How our government's debt is the fault of every president of the last 80 years and how it  may be a small problem now, but could turn into a big problem if nothing is done. I mostly proposed more immigration and economic growth as the main ways to ensure fiscal stability. However, the New York Times recently created a Budget Puzzle interactive graphic that lets you cut or tax (you have to do both) what you'd like in order to balance the budget in 2015 and 2030. I tried it out and was surprised how easy it was.

The federal budget was balanced by only increasing the Social Security retirement and Medicare eligibility age to 68, reducing the tax break for employer-provided health insurance, capping Medicare growth starting in 2013, enact medical malpractice reform, cut troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in half by 2013, reduce the size of the other  military to pre-Iraq level, eliminating loopholes in the income tax, ending farm subsidies, measuring inflation more accurately, and returning the estate tax to Clinton-era levels (although I also cut foreign aid and eliminated earmarks just for the fun of it). I didn't even have to change the Bush tax-cuts or payroll tax. I even refrained from the personally preferred carbon tax. Here's a link to exactly what I did. Now go and try it yourself, especially if you're a member of Congress.

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You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.