Friday, April 15, 2011

How to reduce the deficit and balance the budget, from my point of view. (Part 2)

As you many know, we are locked in a fierce budget battle between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats went to raise taxes on top earners and mildly cut spending, while Republicans want to cut, no butcher spending and maintain and even reduce taxes on the top earners, claiming that if we raise taxes on the top earners, the economy will slow down because those are the people that produce jobs in this county. Thus, if any type of new regulation or taxes is introduced, a minute will not pass before they label it as "job-killing."

To both parties, you are both wrong.

To balance the budget, you must raise taxes and cut spending at the same time. It's just common sense. Sure, it'll  involve make some tough choices, but when you have a growing deficit and debt, those choices are really necessary. Those who do make those tough choices and follow through with it display leadership, something we haven't seen from both Democrats and Republicans alike in a long time.

Here, I choose to cut, cancel or delay some weapons programs, reduce the nuclear arsenal and space spending, and reduce some noncombat military compensation as well the length of tours. Let's start with reducing the nuclear arsenal and space spending. First off, the need for a bulging nuclear arsenal has diminished within the past 20-25 years, due to the end of the Cold War and the fact that there are more treaties and agreements on the size, use, and time of nuclear weapons has also diminished the need. The number of nuclear warheads would be reduced form 1,968 to 1,050. Funding would also be reduced for nuclear development and research,  as well as for missile development, a space based missile defense system, and the number of Minuteman missiles. Next up is the cancellation or delay for some weapons programs. Where do I start? The F-35 fighter jet, and the MV-22 Osprey would be cut, being replaced with less expensive of similar quality. Some other purchases would be delayed, and spending for research and development would also be reduced. Lastly, noncombat military compensation will be cut and the length of tours would also be curbed. Veterans who have not been wounded in battle would see their premiums rise, and more veterans would receive health insurance form their employer. Pay raises and increases in benefits would also receive tighter scrutiny. The length and frequency of combat tours would also be reduced- no person would be sent to a combat zone for more than a year, and they would be recalled for duty only after spending two years at home or is voluntarily wants to stay. I understand the potential for benefits reduction is painful, but sometimes, you need to make some tough choices if we want to close the deficit and put this country on the long road to eliminating the debt. 

So far, together with the savings mentioned in the previous post of this series, $120 Billion of the 2015 projected shortfall of $418 Billion and $169 Billion of the 2030 projected shortfall of $1,345 Billion in savings have been found. Here is a breakdown- 
  • Domestic Programs and Foreign Aid- $59 Billion out of the $418 Billion shortfall in 2015, and $62 Billion out of the $1,345 Billion shortfall in 2030 has been sliced off.
  • Military- $61 Billion out of the $418 Billion shortfall in 2015, and $107 Billion out of the $1,345 Billion shortfall in 2030 has been sliced off.
Still more to come up in the next post of this series- Health Care & Social Security.

Cutting & Taxing-This is the second in a series of articles that will examine how to balance the Federal Budget and in the long run, reduce the long term deficit.