Congress and the President are currently discussing what to do with the budget and the deficit. M any seem honestly concerned about where this country goes from here. I have a suggestion.
According to Wikipedia the United States Federal budget for 2009 was 3,518 billion dollars. Defense was 23% of the budget, $782 billion dollars; I would reduce it to 17% saving $469 billion. Social Security was 20%, $678 billion and reducing it to 17% would save $203 billion. Medicare & Medicaid was 19%; $676 billion reducing it to 17% would save $135 billion. Tarp was 4%, $151 billion and reducing it to zero would save $151 billion. Interest was 5%, $187 billion but it would stay unchanged. Discretionary Spending was 12%; $437 billion reducing it to 7% would save $218 billion and leave Mandatory Spending at it current level of 17%, $607 billion dollars. Total saved in spending is about $152 billion dollars.
Regarding the income or receipts for 2009. Wikipedia shows Excise Tax at 3%, $62 billion dollars which I would increase to 7%, netting an additional $248 million dollars. Other it was shown as 5% of the receipts, $99 billion which I would increase to 7% netting an additional $198 million. It showed Social Security & Social Insurance at 42%, $891 billion dollars which I believe is high enough and would not increase nor would I increase the Individual Income Tax at 43%, $915 billion. It showed Corporate Income Tax at 7% of receipt, $138 billion which I would increase to match Individual Income Tax because corporation are now viewed identical to individuals according to the Citizen’s United case and that would net an additional $49 million dollars. Total additional income would then be $495 million dollars.
The difference between the spending and receipts numbers and the savings and increases mentioned here would be a $765 million dollars shortfall. Thinking outside the box, I would make that up by requiring the money spent by outside groups during an election must be matched by those same groups to go directly to the budget. Kim Geiger reported for the LA Times on October 28, 2010 that the midterm election spending was close to $4 billion dollars. After year one we should have a small surplus but it would began to grow because outside groups will still be inclined to try and get those who best serve them elected. This could also be a requirement for any politician who receives donations from any corporate sponsor or group.