We can’t turn back now, we’ve come so far

11 May

The LA Times has an article from yesterday evening that neatly summarizes the latest spending cut drama in the House of Representatives. (I like their version for it’s clear lack of liberal bias)

Basically as it stands now, the situation is exactly the same as it has been since the issue came up last summer. Republicans want to cut the budget to domestic programs and not just defense. Democrats want to balance the budget on defense alone and raising taxes. With nearly a year to come up with a solution isn’t it nice to have the confidence in our elected leaders to know they can come up with on a solution. When your bi-partisanly acceptable plan (Bowles-Simpson) is rejected, you know it’s time to lock everyone in the room till they come up with a solution.

And for what, so we can cut a few measly hundred billion out of our $3.8 trillion dollar annual budget?

Justin Bieber! Noooooo!!!!

With nothing more than my under-utilized intellect, other peoples research, and a sense of responsibility I’ve developed a federal debt reduction program of my own, based on the budget figures from the 2011 calender year, since that is the most recent complete data.

In 2011 the United States federal government took in $2.469 billion in taxes, so let’s round up and call it $2.5b.

However budget expenses for the same period totaled $3.796 billion, rounding up to $3.8b.

This created around $1.3 billion dollars in federal debt for last year alone, for a total debt figure that currently sits at $15.7 billion and counting.

Doing the math we see that 2.5 ÷ 3.8 = .65 or 65 percent. So the federal government only brought in enough money to cover 65% of its expenses, and consequently borrowed the other 35%.

Using what I like to call, “common sense”, my proposal would be to cut the federal budget by 40% across the board and to peg  growth to the rate of inflation. However, I’m not so foolish as to think you can cut 40% in one year and still function without chaos ensuing. Like any good plan, the focus needs to be on long term success and sustainability. Simply changing the data without learning from the experience is useless.

Therefore the proposal is not to cut 40% immediately, but to cut 13.3% per year over the next three years. Since each department is facing cuts, it is those departments who will determine the cuts and not Congress. It’s up to the managers who are supposed to be familiar with the work they do who’ll decide what’s necessary for the job and what isn’t. Everyone takes a haircut, no exceptions, no excuses.

After 3 years, we’ve cut the budget back to black and even given ourselves a small surplus with which we can begin paying down our debts.

Best of all, the plan is completely workable. Not only is a great percentage of government spending wasteful in it’s purchasing of $12 staplers and $9 office snacks, but Americans believe that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends anyway, this from a Gallup poll taken last September.

Finally, it was only in 2005 when the federal budget was $2.472 trillion. I don’t think anyone would suggest that life was simply intolerable a mere seven years ago.


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