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A bit of the piece I wrote before got my mind going..... I hadn't actually sat down to think about this much (other than when Bill Still was running for the Libertarian ticket), and I bet you haven't either.
But we should.
I'm going to take just our Federal budget and break it down into the following general categories for Fiscal 2013, a year for which we have the Federal Treasury Statement:
Social Security: $870 billion
Medicare and Medicaid (All): $1,113 billion
Children and Families (TANF, Energy, Children and Family Services, Adoption, etc): $50 billion
HUD (Rent, projects, operating funds, etc) + "Community Planning": $45 billion
SNAP/WIC/Etc (Food Stamps & "Free" School Lunches): $109 billion
Veterans Affairs: $143 billion, of which about $52 billion is medically-related. The rest is (mostly) pensions and readjustment benefits.
Ok, now let's add all this up, with one exception -- Military Pensions.
I get $2,239 billion, or $2.2 trillion dollars, out of a total as spent of $4.058 trillion -- roughly 54%.
Note that the deficit was $680 billion, or one third of that spending.
So let's just take our $2,239 billion and see what we could do with it, assuming we didn't have these programs at all. In other words, let's make a few assumptions:
Ok, so we're going to do this instead of the programs we have now:
Note that these two direct refundable tax credit disbursements result in nobody having a family income of less than approximately $32,000 after tax. We spent $495 billion doing it.
Bluntly: If we do this there are no more poor citizens in America unless you care to argue that a $32,000 household income is "poor." If you do then I'll preempt your statement by telling you that you're stupid and ought to go find a high building and jump, you ****er.
End of discussion.
We started with $2,239 billion that we whacked out of the budget and have spent $495 billion of that eliminating, on a permanent basis, poverty in America.
We have left $1,744 billion each and every year. We will not run a deficit ($680 billion) any more, and in fact will run a $400 billion surplus on purpose to start paying down the debt. We now have $764 billion left each and every year.
That $764 billion is roughly 40% of the remaining federal budget. We therefore will cut all taxes, income FICA, Medicare, everything -- by 30% so as to bring receipts in line with actual spending.
The result of this is:
Note that I left a hell of a lot of Socialism in the Federal Government due to handing out money to the lowest two quintiles. However, I got rid of all of the government waste and corruption at once in social programs by doing it this way, and as a result what has happened is that the people in the lower economic strata got all the money instead of a quarter of it with the various scam artists in and around the government stealing the rest.
I also broke the Medical Monopolies -- everyone can now afford to pay cash for their medical care.
And, I did it while cutting taxes across-the-board by 30% while not only balancing the budget immediately, not in 10 or 20 years in some phantasm of lies and fraud, but also while putting $400 billion a year toward retiring the debt.
We're not short on money in this country, nor on taxation.
We're short on integrity and people who argue otherwise are liars.
Argue with my math; if I missed something or made an error, show me where.
PS: Before the criticism commences, let me point out that I'm well-aware of adverse selection and the arguments that can be raised in support of it, including the fact that were we to do this we might end up with a lot of people in that first quintile by choice! After all, $32,000 as a guaranteed household income is pretty good for doing nothing!