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:
- Don’t stifle economic recovery with zealous short-term austerity
- Establish a mid-term goal of changing all-inclusive entitlement programs to needs-based programs
- Maintain a long-term plan for revenue surpluses to pay down debt rather than expand programs or reduce taxes
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.