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Six-Year Plan for a Manageable Budget

Overall my plan focuses on “mandatory spending” that accounts for 55 percent of total spending.  The long-term goal for the budget must be debt reduction to ease the burden of interest payments that now exceed 6 percent of the budget. There are three key elements:
  1. Don’t stifle economic recovery with zealous short-term austerity
  2. Establish a mid-term goal of changing all-inclusive entitlement programs to needs-based programs
  3. Maintain a long-term plan for revenue surpluses to pay down debt rather than expand programs or reduce taxes
Throughout the course of this six-year plan, Americans must know with certainty what’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen so they can prepare their own plans in reaction. My plan covers the majority of two presidential election cycles: it’s workable if the President can slough off the political rhetoric and party orthodoxy to get the job done.
    By Year 2
    • Reorganize the Executive Branch into 7 cabinet-level departments – State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Commerce – to create greater focus on mission, reduce overlapping overhead costs, and uncover potential efficiencies; Congressional committees should parallel this structure.
    • Begin raising the age of eligibility for Medicare and Social Security incrementally to 70.
    • Establish conditions such as mandatory school attendance for children and training for adults when receiving Medicaid and income security benefits.
    • Revise the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – too many unfunded mandates and too little innovation on cost control; craft legislation to reduce government's footprint in healthcare and continue to seek innovation on cost control and portability to make buying health insurance more attractive to individuals.
    • Ensure that all obligations are funded up front instead of leaving the bill for future Congresses.
    • Eliminate all subsidies – explicit and implicit – so that consumers and companies pay the full cost of goods and services.
    By Year 4
    • Start fresh with a new tax code that draws from three broad-based revenue sources:  sales transactions, wage income, and investment income.
    • Eliminate all other taxes and all tax preferences (deductions and credits).
    • Establish a single $25,000/year tax-deferred account to balance the income limits on Social Security benefits (by Year 6); phase out 401(k) plans; tax employer contributions to all benefit plans as regular income.
    • Establish market prices for rents and royalties on all government-owned assets.
    By Year 6
    • Phase in sliding scale of reductions on Medicare, Social Security, and veteran benefits as participant income increases.
    • Move to “defined contribution” plans for all Federal government employee benefits – including military personnel – so that benefit accounts are funded during an employee’s service.
    • Establish effluent taxes on polluting elements such as carbon, nitrate, and phosphate to pay the full cost of natural resource management and remediation.