Washington Won’t Balance the Budget. Well, Here’s What it Could Do to Reduce the Deficit…
-This article was originally published at Hot Air.
On October 5, the Congressional Budget Office’s Director’s Blog reported an official estimate of the 2012 deficit. At $1.1 trillion, it is the fourth year in a row the deficit has surpassed one trillion dollars. Since Washington is unwilling to balance the budget any time soon, it is incumbent upon the grassroots to push Congress to at least take a few steps in that direction. On that note, below is a quick list of some basic things Congress could do to reduce the deficit in the next couple of years that was originally published earlier today on the Tea Party Patriots’ blog.
Obviously, when it comes to deficits, they are primarily a two-factor equation: on the one side, you have revenues, and on the other you have spending. While President Obama does not deserve full blame for all four massive deficits – he was only partially responsible, as President, for the 2009 spending levels, and of course tax revenues were down in 2009, mostly not due to anything he had done – he has certainly done very little to reverse the trend.
Here are some ideas Congress should consider, if it wants any kind of deficit reduction to take place — since it’s obviously not serious about balancing the budget any time soon, despite its necessity:
1. Regarding regulations, stop prevention of necessary energy resource cultivation, including but not limited to nuclear power and various forms of drilling. This would provide employment to the unemployed, increased tax revenue to the federal government for deficit reduction, and help with national security concerns.
2. On spending, consider the following:
a. $25 billion a year is spent on unused federal property.
b. Approximately $17 billion is spent on agricultural subsidies annually.
c. Over $20 billion annually is spent on energy subsidies.
d. $100 billion of taxpayer money is used for corporate welfare annually.
e. Potentially several hundred billion dollars is being wasted – annually – on fraud, waste, abuse, and duplication. While much of this is hard to eliminate, even getting rid of one-fifth of it would be extremely helpful with regards to the budget.
3. On tax reform, proponents of big government are partially correct: the federal government does need more tax revenue. However, there is no need to raise tax rates on the wealthy or anyone else. What could happen is some combination of the following:
a. Cut loopholes and lower rates equivalently.
b. Cut loopholes and put the extra revenue towards deficit reduction.
c. Cut loopholes and put some of the extra money towards deficit reduction, while the rest goes towards lower rates.
Any of the above options would be helpful for economic growth and budget-balancing reasons. Obviously, it would be preferable to cut loopholes and lower rates exclusively, but using increased revenue for deficit reduction is economically sound as well.
For years now, Tea Party activists have called for balancing the budget ASAP and making the tax code more economically and morally fair. While Congress has, by and large, refused to budge on these demands, the above suggestions could be a way for grassroots activists to at least get a good first step in towards eventual control of Washington by true fiscal conservatives. At the very least, it would prevent next year’s deficit from being as ghastly large as the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 ones were. And that, in and of itself, is at least a partial victory.