James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Create Your Own Federal Budget

I took the National Budget Simulation game again. Anyone with 2 cents worth of political opinions should try it.

I started by cutting 10% of every spending item, indiscriminately, leaving taxes alone. By doing this, I saved $250 billion. What's really pathetic, however, is that we're still left with a deficit of $150 billion.

I cut Iraqi/Afghani military operations and reconstruction by 70% instead of 10%. Now we're down to $83 billion deficit.

Next up, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, totally eliminated. Now we're down to $41 billion. Then, cut the military by another 10% and we've got ourselves a surplus of 3 billion.

But I want to cut taxes, too!

I took large swipes at International Affairs, Agriculture, Space, and Education, and here and there on other programs to a $120 billion surplus. Everything that suggested "corporate welfare." (which is the main reason for 20% cuts in the military - it's mainly just a corporate welfare program.)

I doubled the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the bottom 60%, and still have a surplus of $73 billion. So I increased by 50% "other individual deductions and exemptions" and held even all other deductions and rates. Ended up with a negligible deficit of $5 billion.

And whipped inflation and restored world confidence in the dollar at the same time.

In any case, any way you look at it, balancing the budget requires radical spending cuts and/or radical tax increases.

UPDATE:

I did it again, this time going the other way, focusing on taxes. I doubled everyone's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but then eliminated all the benefits, deductions, and exemptions listed. In essence, I made the rates as low and as simple ("flat") as I could. I generated an $84 billion surplus. There's something like $700 billion in those deductions. Ideally, (that is, ideally under an income tax) exemptions would be high, rates would be low (but could still be progressive), and deductions non-existent.

2 comments:

  1. What a cool game! I played it a couple of time and passed it on to soem friends.

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  2. I did it and kept coming up with huge surpluses despite doubling the tax cut on almost everyone. That's all it allowed you to do. I would eliminate the surplus by raising the income level at which you pay no taxes, but that was not an option. I kept almost all individual welfare programs the same but cut military spending in half (our defense expenditures are way more than the next several countries combined). I eliminated Ag, Ed, Commerce and the like altogether.

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