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?