I recently came across an interesting set of prescriptions to not only tame the American debt/deficit, but the entire shebang. Some controversal recommendations here but I respect the author and thought I’d solicit opinions/comments on some of these.
Before beginning, the assumption is (based on political realities) that 1) taxes cannot be raised, and 2) Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid can’t be cut for the current or near-future beneficiaries. Fact is voters will not vote to raise their taxes nor will they vote to cut off their money. And politicians need votes.
- First, we need to raise money. Selling federally owned land would fund current and near-term liabilities. The government owns more than 1/4th of the land which could then be taxed, raising revenue moving forward.
- This one should get people talking. Sell or contract out government enterprises (i.e., Amtrak, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Hoover and Bonneville dams) post offices, and government-run nuclear and other power plants.
- Another biggie … shut down several federal departments and agencies (Energy, Education, Labor, HUD, HHS, Office of the Surgeon General, Interior, Commerce and the EPA). I already foresee massive transitional costs which might, just might pay dividends long-term, but very long-term.
- Essentially what many other countries around the world have already done. “Grandfather” workers 55 + into existing Medicare and Social Security plans. Then, offer those under 55 the option of setting up private savings accounts. To replace Medicare, offer those under 55 the option of putting tax-free money into a health savings account. Other medical needs would be paid for out of the HSA.
- To ensure that the federal government does not re-bloat, pass a constitutional amendment that limits the federal government to a small fixed percentage of GDP. (10 percent?)
- Here we go … abolish the IRS. With a dramatically reduced government, the essential federal duties – set forth in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution – could be paid for, as envisioned by the founders, by duties and tariffs on imports and exports.
There were quite a few others, principally dealing with immigration but that alone is a blog in itself. I am interested to hear people’s views on these.