The United States needs help. The deficit is out of control, the budget can’t be balanced, and red tape is stopping progress. The time is now for out-of-the box thinking and results which will put our great nation back on top. Make the necessary cuts and the United States budget is solved.
Solution #1: Reduce Unemployment Benefit Payouts
With unemployment sitting at roughly 10% of the population or 14.8 million people as of November 5, 2010, reducing unemployment benefits may seem inappropriate. The private sector should not be solely responsible for solving the country’s rising unemployment. For example, USAjobs.gov lists more than 5000 jobs available. If 14.8 million people are being paid unemployment benefits, the United States government should never have an open position. Fill open government jobs across all sectors from the unemployment pool and reduce unemployment costs.
Solution #2: Establish Stricter Guidelines for Federal Aid Programs
There are many federal aid programs that help individuals and families make ends meet. The SNAP program, formerly called the food stamp program, is one of the most widespread with an annual budget of more than $25 billion per year. Just 10 years ago, a dip of about $8 billion was reported in the amount of federal money spent on SNAP benefits, but the following year the number spiked again. As of 2005, more than 25.7 million Americans were receiving SNAP or food stamps. This cost the government $28.6 billion. The number of people on SNAP in 1995 was comparable at 26.6 million costing $24.6 billion. In 2000, only 17.2 million people received SNAP benefits costing the government $17.1 billion – why the increase? There is potentially $11.5 billion in savings.
Solution #3: Offer Medicinal Marijuana for Chronic Pain (for a fee)
The legalization of marijuana has been a hot button issue every two years during election time for more than a decade. As of today, most insurance companies cover the expenses associated with the use of medicinal marijuana for approved illnesses, but what if more people were offered relief at a price?
There are more than seven billion people in the world. About 20% of the total population suffers from some form of chronic pain, according to a study presented at the International Association for the Study of Pain in 2005. If chronic pain were added to the list of approved medical conditions and medical marijuana was offered to chronic pain patients, the income could halt the Federal deficit in its tracks. It helps that medical marijuana is proven to relieve chronic pain in some patients.
How much money could the government earn from selling medicinal marijuana to chronic pain patients? Twenty percent of seven billion is 1.4 billion. If only half paid $10 a month for medicinal marijuana supplies, the total income for the government would be $84 billion per year.
Solution #4: Give the Power of “Change” to the People
Many banks offer customers the ability to save more by adding the difference between a debit charge and the next round dollar to their savings accounts. What if the people of the United States chose to give that money to pay off the national deficit?
There are currently about 130 million people employed in the United States. If every employee chose to have a $1 donation deducted from their biweekly paycheck, the impact on total income would be negligible. The impact on the national debt, however, would be astounding. That small $1 donation would add up to $3.8 billion given solely to reduce national debt.
By all means the National Debt cannot be fixed overnight. These solutions will provide talking points for Congress to consider to get the ball rolling and get things fixed.