Reducing The Deficit
My colleague Dave Schuler has an excellent post on the hard choices involved in making the federal budget sustainable. He also offers the following cuts:
I may as well express my preferences for cutting the deficit as well: reduce healthcare spending (along the lines suggested above), cut military spending by reducing our military commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, and East Asia and reduce the size of the Army, means-test Social Security, modernize the providing of services by the federal government and cut the federal payroll, eliminate pensions for elected officials, reduce federal employee’s pension plans, eliminate agricultural subsidies, start phasing out the building of new interstate highways or the expansion of old ones, reserve capital spending by the federal government for things that really are for the “general welfare” rather than for particular welfare. I support a carbon tax.
I agree with all of the above with just one minor quibble: I’d eliminate all subsidies, not just agricultural ones. But other than that I think that Dave’s direction is the best way to move forward.
For the record, though, it won’t actually be the way it happens. But it’s a good one.