Be more specific please. Exactly what are you willing to cut?
Most R&D spends (where real industry handouts occur), and I'd want to consolidate the services for increased military and economic efficiency.
Do you really need much detail beyond that? It would be a lot of work to tell you just how many aircraft carriers etc I think we need (of our Nimitz-class I think we need 3 of the current 10 at the most) and if you just compare how much we spend vs how much the next most-powerful countries do you can see how much room we have to cut.
If you really think we need to spend that much (as opposed to it being difficult and politically costly to cut) then I can do more detail but I'm not sure you even disagree here.
I think it's fair to say that a 75% cut in defense spending isn't going to happen, so I would say you have started with an unrealistic scenario.
It's not going to happen because people don't want it to. But that doesn't make it a bad idea, just an unpopular one. It's not going to happen because people like you prefer to raise taxes and because people like your political opponents prefer to cut social programs and increase military spending.
My proposed budget isn't wrong, the people are retarded.
Even if we go with your plan that's only 40% of the deficit right there - not counting the debt or servicing of it.
"Only" 40% of our deficit isn't something to sneeze at. And we don't need to erase the deficit overnight, we've run deficits for years and can survive a few more.
Okay, fine with me. Another 4% of the deficit.
See? In just two paragraphs we have almost half the deficit cut. You see the glass as half empty, I see it as half full. Perhaps one reason I feel this way is because I am also counting on economic growth after this recession to make up for a part of it.
Remember that there isn't only 2 ways (taxes and spending cuts) to address a deficit either. Economic growth can contribute to closing the gap.
I don't know how to calculate how much money this would save from the budget. I would also add that the complete and total reorganization of our health care system will have wide-reaching effects that make it really difficult to predict the outcomes of. I would thirdly add that this would take many years to accomplish and would be fought tooth and nail by the Republicans.
If the accountants are mad and won't use the budget, that doesn't mean the budget is wrong though.
I know how hard this would be, and it's not just Republicans in the way, it's folks like you and the Democrats who'd rather just throw more government money at the problem (and increase taxes if necessary) than do what makes the most sense.
I have a pretty good idea of how much political capital what I propose would cost, but these problems should be addressed in two ways: what is the ideal? and what is viable?
I'm talking about ideal conditions (to me, of course) and in practice it would be very painful to achieve (the easiest way is the Republican strategy of "starving the beast" or bankrupting the country into smaller government but I find that too dishonest a strategy for my tastes).
Let's say however that your plan will save (and this is generous) 200 billion a year. That's another 20% of the deficit for a total of about 65% cut now.
You say that like it's a bad thing!
This doesn't allow the government to save any money on the deficit at all , because SS taxes are levied separately from income taxes. If you get rid of SS you get rid of the taxes that fund it.
Good! I hate that tax the most (I for one will never see a dime of my SS taxes) but while I get your point about it not having a direct impact on deficit I hope you see mine about how much it would save us when the system breaks in a bit. It's on a path to insolvency, we can either throw more money at it (and taxes) or we can fix it?
I'm less concerned with erasing today's deficit than avoiding tomorrow's bundles of cash thrown at SS.
You can't fund the deficit from cutting these monies. What more, there are real negative effects to not having SS in place that I think you have failed to take into account from an economic standpoint.
I agree that SS is a very strong economic stimulus. It lets Americans not care about saving or taking care of their parents.
Still, it doesn't have to be this way. It doesn't have to be retarded. The key that works for the system is the enforced retirement deduction, not the use-Peter's-money-to-pay-Paul part.
And it's broken because the idea of using population growth to fund it can't last forever, so my proposal is to move it to direct, enforced retirement savings (at levels just enough to keep people alive, not be retirees on QVC all day) and more private pension plans (if you want more than the austere minimum enforced savings).
In total, you've done a good job highlighting what you would cut - but even if we did take these drastic measures - which won't happen, as I'm sure you know - you still didn't identify enough savings to close the DEFICIT hole, let alone servicing the debt!
I think you seriously downplay cutting nearly three quarters of the deficit. And this is just my start, I think the American government spends insane amounts of money in nearly every sector. I don't want a single public dollar going towards the American football/prom culture in education for example. I find it absurd that American schools spend millions on gyms and stadiums and that we spend as much as almost anyone per-student on education with such dumb uneducated results.
I want to cut 10-25% of about every government program in America (there are very few exceptions, I want to spend more on higher-education for example).
This is why I repeat my earlier contention: it will be impossible to get our financial house in order without both cutting spending and raising taxes.
It's "impossible" because you'd rather increase taxes than cut spending. You prefer more taxes. But if you just look around the world you'll see plenty of people who survive just fine without spending such ridonkulous amounts per-capita.
So don't tell me it's "impossible", it's difficult and unpopular but certainly not "impossible". I see millions of other people doing it just fine. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, "it's impossible because we don't want to do it".
And to date nobody has been able to identify any alternative.
This is an alternative, it's not as easy as just throwing more money at the machine but just because it's not popular doesn't mean it's not an option.