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I Almost Wiped Out the Deficit by 2030

Are you riled at Republicans warning of cuts to the social safety net?

Are you disheartened by Democrats eager to hike upper-income taxes?

Today, it’s your turn. Get out your red pen, and start cutting.

The New York Times has an interactive graphic on its Website that gives you a page-long menu of possible budget cuts and encourages you to have at it – and shows you what the effect will be.

I nearly cut the entire deficit as it’s projected by the year 2030, but I had to make some tough (dare I say, maverick-y?) choices to do it. Like, ahem:

Cutting foreign aid in half.
Eliminating earmarks.
Cutting the pay of civilian federal workers by 5 percent.
Reducing the federal workforce by 10 percent.
Cutting 250,000 government contractors.
Reducing the military to its pre-Iraq War size and further reducing troops in Asia and Europe.
Reducing the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 30,000 by 2013.
Capping Medicare growth starting in 2013.
Raising the Social Security retirement age to 68.

Just to see what the effects would be, I also, yes, allowed the Bush tax cuts on incomes above $250,000 to expire. I also slapped a millionaire’s tax on income above $1 million and imposed a bank tax that would tax banks based on their size and perceived riskiness.

That combination of choices got me almost to completely wiping out the deficit.

But look at some of the choices I had to make to do it – choices that have zero of chance of coming to pass.

Dansette

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