If they are serious about our finances, they have to stop debating which programs to cut (Planned Parenthood, Medicare, the Military, etc), and instead focus on the budget itself. This means unilateral cuts, blind to the programs, and simply trim everything equally.
Here is my simple proposal to balance the budget over 8 years (2013 to 2020):
- Federal Spending in 2010 was ~$3.5T with revenues of ~$2.1T. To make these changes in 2013-2020, we need to cut $1.4T per year. We will accomplish this by reducing spending by $175B annually, additively.
- An annual spending cap is defined as:
($3.5T – $175B * (Year â€“ 2012))
- 2013 = $3.325T
- 2014 = $3.150T
- 2015 = $2.975T
- 2016 = $2.800T
- 2017 = $2.625T
- 2018 = $2.450T
- 2019 = $2.275T
- 2020 = $2.100T
- > 2020 : The cap is set to the prior yearâ€™s revenue.
- Each year, the budget dictates the proportion of money spent for each line item. If the total budget exceeds the values from (2), spending per line item will be reduced proportionally such that total spending equals the value of line (2).
- These spending cuts are mandatory, and override any previously guaranteed benefits to any programs. All federal programs will need to adjust to the new spending caps.
- If, in any year, there is a surplus in revenues, the spending caps outlined in (2) will remain, and the surplus will be used to reduce the overall debt.
- After the year 2020, annual spending will be capped at the total revenue of the previous year, and the budget balancing process of line (3) will be applied with the new spending cap.
This solution removes the politically charged plans where our legislators always get tripped up. This is liberating for all legislators, as they can now focus on getting the job done and balancing the budget in 8 years. No problem, right?