America is in financial disarray. We have an annual budget that has an enormous deficit each year, and Washington seems to not care. The only “cuts” that are made are not true spending cuts, rather they are only cuts in the GROWTH of spending. This is not how to balance a budget, this is how Washington makes it look like they care about reducing the deficit, while in reality it seems they only wish to use our debt as a WMD against America. There are ways to balance the budget. I will state my preferred method in this article.
The primary issue is our fiscal debt. At the moment, the federal debt is in excess of 17.5 TRILLION dollars (or more depending on when you are reading this). This is by far the greatest issue we need to tackle. It will hurt but it needs to be done. I am not usually a supporter of raising taxes but it must be done, on the condition that every dollar raised by a tax hike is used only to pay the debt. We also need to take a meat cleaver to the budget. I propose cutting everything, especially social programs.
The military needs to stay intact despite the cuts. The F-35 has been a failure in development. Boeing has developed a stealth version of the F-15. We can save money by abandoning the F-35 (which is also a lawn dart, slang for a single engine aircraft) and build a stealth version of the most successful fighter jet ever built. We can also shut down overseas military bases and bring our men home and use them for domestic defense, especially border security. Instead of building new bombers, we can upgrade existing ones, similar to the upgrades on the B1-B strategic bomber. We can also save money by keeping the existing digital camo military uniforms instead of changing them to a different pattern. I hate cutting the military this much, but we have a small cushion because of hostile militaries are still decades behind America. China, for example, can’t build anything without stealing the project designs from another country; for example, compare the Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF to the Shenyang J-31. They are identical aircraft, except for the Shenyang aircraft’s greater radar cross section, or its visibility to radar. Like I said earlier, the F-15 Silent Eagle would be a perfect way to save money AND keep American air supremacy against our enemies.
The main contributors to the debt are the social programs. Cutting the social programs has been delayed for far too long. Social Security is bankrupt. I believe it can still be saved. The way to fix it is quite simple. Social Security would become a money pool for investment. You would be able to invest all or part of the money (anywhere from 50-100%) and the percentage that is not invested would be kept in a secure bank account until the person retires, and once retired the individual would be able to withdraw a certain percentage of that money every year (most likely 4-5% annually). The important item to note with this proposal is that all funds would be in private hands, not in the hands of the government, so no money would be lost due to government interference. Welfare would be cut entirely. An alternative option to welfare is to make people work for the money, much like the CCC during the Depression Era. This new CCC program would save millions on hiring construction workers for minor projects (and possibly even some more important highway projects). Food stamps could be eliminated in their entirety. The money from the new CCC would be enough to cover for low cost housing and groceries. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products would be banned purchases with the program’s money. Recipients would also be forced to undergo weekly drug testing, which one failed test would result of the individual being removed from the program. The drug tests would be paid for by the individual being tested.
Medicaid could be turned into a junk bond program. The program has gone bankrupt and is failing. Medicare is following the same path but it can still be saved with heavy reform. We need to privatize it. My preferred option is to set up a voucher system for Medicare. The extra voucher money would be returned to the Medicare program and any extra costs that exceeded the allotted money would be covered by the patient.
One of the most obvious areas to cut is simply to cut the pork. There is a huge amount of waste in the federal government’s budget. The federal government spends 25 BILLION dollars annually maintaining abandoned and unused government buildings. In case you down see where this path leads, the federal budget allows for 92 billion in corporate welfare (excluding TARP). I would like to state all the ways we can cut waste but it would take too long. My proposal to cut waste is to force a program to state reasons how it would benefit the American people and how the program planned to pay the money back. These loans would also have a very high interest rate so programs petitioning for government funds would be encouraged to take out private loans.
Congress and the executive branch have a full house of spending that can be cut. Let’s begin with Congress. The Salary for a normal Representative and Senator is $174,000. So, I propose to cut Congress’s salary in half. I am sure they could live on $87,000 a year, pardon my sarcasm. For the party leaders they can be paid $92,500 a year and the Speaker of the House can be paid $115,000 a year. Now for the good old executive branch, as much as I would like to slash the President’s salary, it wouldn’t make much sense. The President is the most powerful man in the world, we need to be sensible. Where we can cut, however, is everywhere else in the executive branch. The First Family does not need to have the luxurious life the Obama’s lead. We can definitely cut their perks. Not to mention the departments. We can cut the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and especially the Department of Education. (Note: when I say cut these departments I am recommending severely cutting their funding, with the exception of the Department of Education and Energy I do not want the programs to completely go away.) The states can handle agricultural affairs without too many problems. The Department of Energy can go away. It serves virtually no purpose to the American people and can be eliminated. The Department of HHS can be cut back, but not completely in order to fun the CCC-like program I proposed earlier. The Department of Education needs to go as soon as possible. Education is not even in the hands of the federal government, it belongs to the states.
If all of these things are done I truly believe we can pay down our massive debt and ultimately save this great nation that we call the United States of America.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com