Posted by | November 14, 2010 17:56 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

I’m a sucker for fun gimmicks (not accounting gimmicks), so when I saw that the New York Times had an online tool that allowed you to make policy choices I knew I had to play.  With a minimal amount of tinkering, I managed to eliminate the deficit in 2015 and in 2030. I don’t really see the need to eliminate it entirely (a little bit of debt is not a bad thing), but it is clear that current projections are not a realistic option.  And I wanted to see if I could eliminate.  Here are the policies I chose:

Eliminate earmarks

Eliminate farm subsidies

Cancel or delay some weapons programs (I took this as a proxy for cut military waste – obviously the devil is in the details)

Enact medical malpractice reform

Cap Medicare growth spending (again the devil is in the details!)

Raise the social security eligibility age to 68 (gradually)

Reduce social security benefits to those with higher incomes

Return the estate tax to Clinton era levels

Raise capital gains tax to 20% for those with incomes above $250K

Allow Bush tax cuts to expire for those with incomes above $250K

Subject incomes above 106K to payroll taxes

Add a millionaires tax, carbon tax, and bank tax.

Go ahead and criticize all you want in comments.  But before do, go to the website and say how you would balance the budget.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.