I Can Balance that Budget for you Mr. Congressman

You apparently can’t or won’t get it done. That may sound shocking to some, unimportant to others, a foul to many who’s pet projects and earmarks will be done in, but with all the political battle cries it is worth exploring… simply because it can be done.

Federal Deficit Through the Years

In 2011 deficit spending was $1.3 Trillion. [1] So far in 2012 we are ~11.5 percent under last year’s pace but at this rate will likely top the $1 Trillion mark again in 2012. The difference so far appears to be an increase in tax receipts due to a bit stronger economy coupled with a reduction of spending. [2] To conservatives this would indicate we are on the right track even though I suspect political rhetoric will preclude saying it out loud. Liberals and I in this case, lament the loss of public sector jobs as the cuts have taken effect and in-turn pushed more folks onto the roles of the unemployed. [3]

To balance the budget will take cooperation of both major parties accepting things each object to. We cannot, as Phillips articulates (American Theocracy) give huge tax breaks, and then insist on balancing the budget solely through spending cuts. It will take both. Remember it was balanced not too many years ago.  There are both conservative and liberal readers here and I’m confident the direction I’m heading will provide enough discussion, debate, agreement, and consternation for all. For Modern Monetary Theory supporters keep reading, you may be able to bear some of my solutions. Over the next weeks or perhaps more I’ll put forth inputs and hope readers will jump in with comments to help refine these as we move forward. We will not all agree but let’s not allow ourselves to fall prey to the DC stalemate where our national (alleged) leadership simply cannot support any idea but their own party’s and political contributors.

Without detailstoday, here are topics I’ll cover in future posts. Subsidies on fossil fuels, energy distribution, alternative energy, banks; taxes including long-term gains rules and rates, foreign tax credits, and certain exemptions; and other topics like the military budget, drug war options, coin seignorage, and reducing the interest on existing debt.

None of these will solve the issue by itself, but one of my pet peeves is the old saying of “this (or that) change really won’t make much difference to the overall debt”. Let’s face it, no one who’s run up a big credit debt did it with a single purchase, but over many small things it grew and grew and grew. Same here, we and congress can nickel and dime this elephant down to nothing…just like your own budget. As I go, we can add up some numbers and see where it stands. In the end, we’re looking for a rough Trillion dollars annually. Piece of cake, but it’ll be a big piece to swallow.

[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/07/us-usa-debt-cbo-idUSTRE7965IA20111007

[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/news-summary-us-budget-deficit-totals-974-billion-through-july-trails-last-years-pace/2012/08/10/0212f216-e326-11e1-89f7-76e23a982d06_story.html

[3] http://americanmoneylies.com/?p=90

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