Thursday, May 20, 2010

You Balance the Budget

Back in my Federal Budget Blueprint series I took a look at how we should deal with our trillion dollar budget deficit. This was a useful exercise and something everyone should consider. What do you want? How do you want to pay for it?

Everyone should consider this. And thanks to a spiffy new website created by The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget now everyone can!

On their site you can punch in your priorities. Choose your spending and tax policy. Steer a grateful nation towards a path of fiscal sanity or financial ruin. You decide!

I was able to plug in a version of my plan and was pleased to see that my preferred path led to a sustainable place with debt at 48% of GDP, well below the suggested 60% target. But then, I call for spending cuts and tax increases. Because, you know, trillion dollar deficit...

If an all-powerful genie granted me one wish -- and if that genie made it clear that I could only use my wish to influence election policy -- then here's my wish: Every politician running for any federal office would have to take this budget calculator for a spin and publish the results.

Think about it. Instead of inane platitudes and vacuous campaign slogans (Ok, in addition to inane platitudes and vacuous campaign slogans. I only got the one wish.) we would have an actual breakdown of a real plan. We could learn their actual priorities before we voted for them.

And anyone who says they are going to "cut taxes and reduce the deficit" could explain how the hell we're supposed to do that.

My choices...

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