A modest proposal

You know, I’ve been looking at this budget crisis and it occurs to me. Would it really be such a horrible thing to live on the budget we had in, say, 2004? Even the fight against ISIS, et al, isn’t really more expensive than the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns we were fighting then, right?

So why not set the budget equal to what it was in 2004. Oh, there will have to be adjustments. I think it’s reasonable to increase the budget proportional for the US population. After all, a lot of functions do scale with the number of people “served” by the government. Not all of them, but let’s use that anyway so we can be generous and increase the budget by 12.3% to account for that population increase.

Prices have gone up too, so we’d better increase the budget to accommodate that as well. The figures I’ve seen give a net 29% inflation between 2004 and today. So let’s increase the budget that amount as well.

So, let’s see, the expenditures of the us government in 2004 (right off the GPO’s .gov web site) were 2.3 trillion. Increase that by 12.3% then again by 29% and we get a value of $3.33 trillion.

The CBO’s estimate for 2017 tax revenue will be $3.377 trillion.  That not only completely wipes out the deficit, but leave $47 billion extra to start paying down the debt.

Sure, not everybody would get everything they want, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it? After all, it wasn’t the end of the world in 2004 so I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be today.

What has been done, can be done.

3 thoughts on “A modest proposal”

  1. I’ve suggested a balanced budget amendment — Set every year’s budget equal to the previous year’s, adjusted for inflation and population.

    Furthermore, since the budget is always late, if the budget is not ready to be signed on or before the first day of the new fiscal year, a default budget is put into place. The default budget is identical to the previous year’s budget, with each line item adjusted for inflation. If population changes affected any given item, Congress will just have to take care of it in a more timely manner the following year.


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