Saturday, April 23, 2011

Suggestions From a Layman on Deficit Reduction

1) Secretary Gates has underscored 20 billion dollars worth of yearly cuts in the defense department. Take 'em. 2) Eliminate ethanol subsidies - net savings, 7 billion. 3) Reduce foreign aid by a total of 20% - net savings, 10 billion. 4) Obama's proposal to freeze the wages of Federal workers will save 6 billion a year for the next 10 years. Take it. 5) Reduce the other farm subsidies by 20% - net savings, 6 billion (the balance so far is 49 billion). 6) Cap the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000. The savings from this (conservatively) would be about 40 billion a year. 7) Raise the top tax rates (back to 39.6%) for people making $500,000 a year. This would generate (again, conservatively) 30 billion a year in additional revenue. 8) Have the Federal government negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies on prices for Medicare and Medicaid. This could save somewhere between 15-25 billion a year (let's say 20). 9) Slowly disengage from Afghanistan. Right now we're spending 100 billion a year there. By scaling back to more of an anti-terror policy, we could probably reduce the cost (again, conservatively) of that venture by a good 20 billion. 10) Cut off all funding to NPR - net savings, 500 million. 11) Privatize Amtrak - net savings, 1 billion. 11) Eliminate the Small Business Administration (from what I can gather, their track record is lousy) - net savings, 500 million. 12) Cut the Department of Energy's research and subsidies program (the government is horrible at picking winners/losers) by at least 2 billion. 13) Eliminate earmarks and REMOVE these amounts from the appropriations - net savings, 11 billion off of the 2010 budget. 14) There are somewhere between 700-800 U.S. military bases worldwide. Can we conceivably close at least some of them? Net savings, I have no idea. I'm thinking, though, at least 10 billion........................................................................................There, I just reduced the deficit by 183 billion dollars. And I don't even know what I'm doing here. Can you even begin to imagine what a learned/bolder person could come up with?


Jerry Critter said...

Good list Will. I agree with most of those ideas.

dmarks said...

"Eliminate the Small Business Administration"

The predictable reactionary headline on leftist blogs would read:

"Republicans Propose to Eliminate Small Business".

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Jerry, I tried to be as balanced and measured as I could (throwing a bone or two to both sides). It's really important, I think, for both parties to be involved here........................dmarks, I was really quite astonished at the poor track record of this agency. I was also surprised to learn that there are over 1,800 subsidy programs in total that the government helps to fund. You can't tell me that there aren't billions in savings to be had there.

Beach Bum said...

9) Slowly disengage from Afghanistan.

And right-wing loons would run off shrilly screaming like little girls about Obama cutting and running from terrorists.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Methinks you might be referring to fellows such as Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer. What a couple of arm-chair generals, huh?......"Make a fist for the first time in your life!", I want to tell 'em.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: The predictable reactionary headline on leftist blogs would read, "Republicans Propose to Eliminate Small Business".

Because the Left is just that stupid? No, I think your comment is stupid.

I haven't gathered that the SBA's record is "lousy", so I would be opposed to eliminiating it. I don't know a lot about it, but it sounds like a good idea to me. If their record is "lousy" how about we work on that instead of eliminating it?

I also disagree with reducing foreign aid. I think we should substantially increase humantarian aid; although I believe we should substantially reduce miliary aid.

In regards to #7 I think we need more tax brackets. Taxes should be higher than 39.6% for those making millions or billions. And as far as #1 goes, I think we can cut much more than 20 billion.

So as far as your 14 points: Your right on #5, #6, #8, #9, #14. You're wrong on #3, #4, #10, #11, #12. You're partially right on #1, #7. I'd need more information to decide if you're right or wrong regarding #2 (although I think you're probably right), #13 (although I think you're probably wrong).