Democrats and Republicans have very different approaches to deficit reduction, but neither are really up to a serious muster. Neither for example go anywhere near as close to a balanced budget as Clinton did, and both take more from the poor and middle class than is warranted.
Before I go any further, I want to refer you to a straightforward comparison of the two approaches to deficit reduction by Reuters. It is much easier on both plans than I would be if I were doing that analysis.
First, the overall savings need to be much bigger than the 4 trillion target. Lets go for 5 trillion instead. Now let’s do defense. Ryan cuts nothing. Obama cuts 600 billion, without getting out of Afghanistan. However, if we took our troops home next year, we would save, at the current rate of 119 billion a year about 1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. If we add that to Obama’s version it is now 5.2 Billion, but I would take another 800 billion out of defense (again spread over 10 years, that’s more like removing a toe nail than using a scalpel. We are already at 6 billion, see how easy it would be?
But wait! I said that I don’t agree with either side cutting so much from the middle class and poor, so lets surgically remove those savings. What would I replace them with? If we closed the loopholes to big oil that would be 4 billion a year, or 40 billion over 10, but I would double that to 80 billion, by actually taxing them to the amount we currently subsidize them.
Let’s see what else could we do? How about a requirement for drug companies to bid against one another, rather than their current sweetheart deal? The current system is price-fixing, the opposite of free enterprise, and it was brought to us by George W, and held over by the compromiser in chief Obama.
With that change alone I would think we would make Medicare close to solvent, and we could still afford to have teachers, firefighters and policemen. We just would have to give up huge windfalls for the drug companies….
Am I done? No. I would create a new level of taxes for anyone making over 2 million a year. Their top rate could be 39%, and there is no doubt they could pay it and still amas huge sums at the expense of the rest of us, because they would still own the US congress, lock, stock and barrel.