1. Cancel Government Debt to the Federal Reserve
Over 1.6 trillion of the US national debt is owed to the Federal Reserve , which is a government sponsored enterprise created by an act of Congress. The Fed even returns any profits from its activities to the US Treasury anyways. Its assets are assets of the federal government. This is money the government essentially owes to itself. Last year, Ron Paul suggested that Congress knock all that money off the national debt (and thereby create some breathing room between Congress and the debt ceiling) by instructing the Federal Reserve to forgive all those debts by destroying the government bonds on its balance sheet. Why not?
2. Sell Government Assets
A good place for the federal government to start with a solution like this would be the US Postal Service. Washington’s postal service is poorly-managed, inefficient, and unnecessary in the era of email, FedEx, and UPS. The USPS fleet of more than 250,000 vehicles, its massive staff (as the third largest employer in the US), its infrastructure, and its operational expenses cost the taxpayer billions every year.
Selling these assets off to the private sector would put them to more productive economic uses, raise a quick round of revenue now, and take some of the pressure off the federal budget year after year.
3. Legalize and Tax Marijuana
In 2010, Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana with the SAM (Small Amount of Marijuana) program. Before the SAM program, Philadelphia spent thousands of dollars on every drug case. DA Williams said “We were spending thousands of dollars for when someone possessed $10 or $15 worth of weed. It just didn’t make sense,” estimating just 12 months after the SAM program started, that decriminalization had already saved the city $2 million. In addition to court costs for prosecuting marijuana offenders, consider the fiscal impact of US incarceration of so many non-violent drug users.
Then there’s the opportunity cost of foregone tax revenues that government could be collecting on marijuana if it were legalized. America is both spending and missing out on raising billions of dollars at every level of government at a time when its finances are at the point of crisis.
4. Normalize Trade with Foreign Countries
As recently noted at IVN, lifting sanctions on countries like Cuba would open up valuable economic opportunities and help grow the US economy, meaning a wider base of taxable wealth to boost federal revenues without even raising taxes:
“Moving to ease sanctions on foreign countries and establish permanent normal trade relations with countries currently under economic blockade could go a long way toward fostering international good will while opening up valuable markets and economic opportunities for trade, stimulating growth and job creation in the US. It would be like a multi-billion dollar economic stimulus package that taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay for and the US government wouldn’t have to borrow money to finance, and its effects wouldn’t be temporary, they would be permanent, systemic, and structural.”
5. Privatize Social Security Accounts
The net present value of privatizing Social Security is estimated to be as great as $20,000,000,000,000. Fifteen years after Chile privatized its own version of Social Security in 1980, the results were stellar:
“Pensions in the new private system already are 50 to 100 percent higher–depending on whether they are old-age, disability, or survivor pensions–than they were in the pay-as-you-go system. The resources administered by the private pension funds amount to $25 billion, or around 40 percent of GNP as of 1995.
By improving the functioning of both the capital and the labor markets, pension privatization has been one of the key reforms that has pushed the growth rate of the economy upwards from the historical 3 percent a year to 6.5 percent on average during the last 12 years. It is also a fact that the Chilean savings rate has increased to 27 percent of GNP and the unemployment rate has decreased to 5.0 percent since the reform was undertaken.”
While the national debt is technically at $16 trillion, the total outstanding obligations Washington has over the next few decades as a result of programs like Social Security is a much more harrowing number. Social Security is at a point of crisis, and Americans already have, in Chile, a working model for successful reform.
6. End All Corporate Welfare
Conservatives and Republicans can get on board with eliminating corporate welfare– that is federal handouts to corporations in the form of subsidies, credits, and bailouts– because it’s a form of wealth redistribution. Progressives and Democrats can get on board because it’s a regressive distribution of wealth from working class Americans to wealth businesses. Why should companies worth billions ever be on the government dole? Writing at Forbes in 2008, Russell Roberts, noted: “Corporate welfare rewards those corporations that excel at lobbying rather than serving their customers. Eliminating it will save $100 billion annually.”
7. Bring The Troops Home
With Osama bin Laden dead, the Taliban crushed, and Al Qaeda’s top leaders killed or captured along with most of the organization destroyed or out of Afghanistan, it’s time for America to declare victory in the War on Terror and bring the troops in Afghanistan home to a hero’s welcome, rather than leave them in the region to fight foreign, ethnic civil wars and guard poppy fields while borrowing money by the billions to pay for it. With Saddam Hussein dead and a new regime in place in Iraq, it’s also time for Washington to withdraw from that region, curtailing federal spending by billions more.
Defense hawks should consider that there is arguably no greater, nor more imminent threat to America’s national security than its unsustainable and rapidly exploding national debt. Unless policymakers can get it under control, future generations of Americans will be left vulnerable by a government simply unable to afford national defense.
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
I think I'd be OK with canceling the debt owed the federal reserve, but that's a very odd arrangement, so much so I really have a hard time foreseeing any negative impact that would present. Selling government assets would depend upon the assets being sold. In the case of the airport you mentioned, certainly, but I'd oppose selling assets such as national parks, public land, etc. Legalizing marijuana and taxing makes perfect sense as does normalizing trade. After our experience with Wall Street in 2008 however, I'm more than a bit leery about privatizing social security. Ending corporate welfare and bringing the troops home seem very logical to me.
I'm not sold on the idea that government needs more money. Rather, I think the federal government's access to money and use of it needs to be reeled in substantially.
1) COLLECT RETROACTIVE TAXES ON MULTINATIONALS DOING BUSINESS IN USA; penalize for 'off shoring' assets in TRILLIONS TO AVOID PAYING US TAXES
2) COLLECT RETROACTIVE TAXES ON INCOMES OVER $1MILLION; PENALIZE FOR off shoring assets THE BUSH TAX CUTS AND 2 CREDIT CARD WARS HAVE PUT US INTO THIS MULTI-TRILLION DOLLAR BOODOGLE, ADD 10 YEARS OF INSTRUCTING THE SEC TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY" ON DIRITIVIE TRADING KNOWN TO BE FRAUDULENT --- THEN FORCING A $14 TRILLION DOLLAR TAXPAYER BAIL OUT, WHILE THE PERPS GOT MILLION DOLLAR BONUS PERKS AND LUX VACATIONS....
Only Bernie Madoff was prosecuted because he 'screwed' his own class which was NOT TO BE TOLERATED.
3) Collect $9 Billion the FED 'LOST' Collect with penalties the $BILLINS 'LOST' in Iraq
4) COLLECT monies spent to make the 13 C27 aircraft that went from assembly line to the scrap heap within the last few weeks.
Stop producing the $1.5 Billion 'war plane' that still has quirks and can't be used.. uncertain how many 'tests' of it were build.
5) COLLECT A 1% TAX ON EVERY WALL STREET TRADE (the Robin Hood Tax - implement it ASAP)
6) SOCIAL SECURITY AS WELL AS THE POST OFFICE ARE SELF FUNDING (DON'T BORROW FROM EITHER) Every president since Nixon (at the suggestion of then FED head, Alan Greenspan 'BORROWED' from the Social Security Trust Fund 86 YEAR OLD PETE PETERSON AND HIS HARVARD ECONOMIC LIARS/BOOTLICKERS HAVE BEEN OUTED in their schemes and collusions to try to get their hands on Social Security. The DEBACLE OF 2008 is PROOF, privatizing SS is an idiots game, sold by vultures to those too ignorant to smell a rat. Social Security is the best program the government runs (except for repeated borrowing from the SS Trust -- make THAT ILLEGAL!).
Forcing the US Post Office to fund 75 years of RETIREMENT AND MEDICAL COVERAGE IN 10 YEARS IS LUDRICRIS ---- another vulture plan FOISTED BY REPUBLICANS AND WHIPPED BY DARYL ISSA. It costs 49 cents to mail a letter via the USPO --- it costs $2.50 to Fed EX a letter; $15.00 to overnight it. 20% of Fed Ex and UPS, etc DO NOT DELIVER RURAL AREAS --- SO - 0 - DELIVERIES OF MAIL TO RURAL AREAS ----
THE US POSTAL SERVICE IS WRITTEN INTO THE CONSTITUTION - A 235 YEAR OLD TRADITION --- IT'S AN AMERICAN RIGHT! Only and framing idiot would choose to spend excessive monies on PRIVATE FOR PROFIT 'MAIL SERVICES' which benefit only shareholders not the masses using those services at Usury rates.
7) YOUR TAKE ON THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS THE ONLY TENET on WHICH I AGREE. FEDERAL RESERVE CHARGES US TO PRINT MONEY $0.04 CENTS TO PRINT A 100 DOLLAR BILL - ONCE IT'S PRINTED INTEREST IS CHARGED ON THE $100.00 NOT THE 4 CENTS... NICE GAME FOR THE PRIVATE CARTEL WHO BLEW THE WORLD ECONOMY IN 2008 AND THEN CHARGED TAXPAYERS TO PAY THEM FOR EFFING THEIR JOB..... INSIDERS LET THE DEBACLE TRANSPIRE UNMOLESTED -- THEN THERE IS THE COLLUSION WITH THE LONDON LIBOR SCANDLE ---
YOUR SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS ARE BLATANTLY UBER RIGHTWING IDIOCY. The IMF stated last week: Tax the wealthy and the multinationals to relieve deficits in your country.....
LEGALIZING MARIJUANA? MONSANTO WILL GET THEIR HANDS ON A BAG OF SEEDS AND FILE COPY RIGHTS AND OWN HEMP AS WELL AS 90% OF THE WORLD S SEEDS --- AS HENRY KISSENGER SAID ".....own the seeds/food and you control the world" Rothchild said, "I care not what puppet is put in place to head a country, if you control the currency of the country, you control the country ...(paraphrased). Who controls the currency, who is destroying it's value? A default will be a domino effect -- many world currencies are back by the us dollar -- our defaulting puts the entire world in to a global recession. 1971 Nixon & Greenspan removed the gold standard backing the dollar --- still a bad idea.
SELLING FEDERAL ASSETS? like our roads and highways, like Chicago's city's PARKING METERS? I believe Saudi Arabia owns ChiTowns parking income. To have a parade to have to upt up $699,000 in advance for loss of income. NJ tried to sell the NJ Turnpike to international bidders till people of New Jersey found about the scam. LIKE THE NATIONAL PARKS TO FOSSIL FUEL VULTURES TO EXTRACT OUR MINERALS AND NOT PAY FOR (we the taxpayers who support and maintain said parks) THEM, OR GRAZING THEIR HERDS ON OUR NATIONAL PARKS (87 COWS TO EVERY HORSE) SO SELL OFF THE HORSE HERDS FOR ONLY THE COST OF SHIPPING TO SLAUGHTER HOUSES --- 0 COST, HUGE PROFITS --- but the question is, WHO PROFITS? WHO COLLECTED THOSE BILLIONS OF HORSE FLESH DOLLARS -- GET IT BACK PLUS INTEREST. Who realized the sales of our horse populations sold to Germany (Aldi beef is horseflesh), Sweden (IKEA Swedish meatballs are horseflesh) and on and on.... who too the cash, get it back FROM THE BLM management.
US TROOPS ARE GARRISONED IN 178 COUNTRIES - UNWANTED BY LOCAL POPULATIONS - the Brass are living large with lux accommodations, gulf courses, private homes with pools and servants. We have been in Germany, Korea, Japan for DECADES --- one question: W H Y? Eisenhower was correct --- his prophesy has come to fruition, at great waste and expense at what advantage or gain? Who profits from these building and real estate deals? Put those funds in the kitty.
Congress cannot agree on any legislation, EXCEPT: RE-LEGALIZING INSIDER TRADING. I SUGGEST ALL INSIDER TRADES BE SHARED WITH EVERY CONSTITUENT OF SAID LEGISLATORS DISTRICTS --all share in these profits of Congress persons and their staff who profit from 'deals."
YOUR SUGGESTIONS like you are directing your sophomoric 'solutions' to a vast dumbed down readership, or you are a SEEM LIKE YOU ARE AN EMPLOYEE OF A RIGHT WING THINK TANK, or PETE PETERSON who's been salivating to get his old claws on the Social Security Trust Fund for decades. I suggest you read more books on Economics, view Rubin's "INEQUALITY FOR ALL" out this week, and read Paul Krugman's columns in the NY Times. Your suggestions are blatantly obvious, not to mention adolescent level solutions. But please understand, not ALL people have a Fox Noos or Tea-Party level mentality. I have no intention of insulting any persons, I do condemn blatant avarice which your solutions suggest.
I also find it disconcerting that the droves of THINKING Republicans distancing from the Cruz Teabaggers are currently claiming to be INDEPENDENTS, unfortunately they arrive with the same old greed, disassociative pathologies.
I do not agree with giving our Social Security money to the fiends on Wall Street ... give me my share in gold & ammunition.
3, 4, 6, 7 are all good. Not that I think our government would implement any idea they didn't come up with in some ultra-secret meeting. None of these appear to give them an excuse to "win" against their imaginary rivals.
Nationalize the oil industry and gas and electricity, socialize medicine for the wage earners, the working poor and the disabled.
1. Forensic acct every gov agency & employee. Recoup thefts. 2. stop all occupations. 3. shrink to half all military bases. 3. All political positions are unpaid. 4. better monitor welfare & similar programs. 5. all schooling is "home" or private no public. 6. privatize post office 7. return police work to policing & not revenue collecting. 8. lower retirement packages for gov/city employees. 9. Eliminate military reitrement packages, keep medical benefits for life. FULL BENEFITS. 10. eliminate regulations that choke individual business's 11. allow jetpacks!
Not sure how we could cancel debt to a non-federal "Bank". It's a private company after all. - I suppose we could declare bankruptcy. Selling assets is the stupidest of the lot. Followed close behind is to Privatize Social Security! Most of the remaining "solutions" are a lawyer's wet-dream.
To address them in reverse order... #7: I support it apart from the effect on the debt. If what they are doing were necessary, we need to raise money to pay for it. It is not necessary, so it should be discontinued. We are putting people in harm's way for no good reason. #6: Biggest possible yes. It is the root cause of most of our financial problems and ending it will be the root of most of our cure. #5: Biggest possible no. It's just corporate welfare, again, at the expense of the society as a whole. #4: Define what is meant by "normalize" and I can give an answer...sorry! :-( #3: Yes, for much the same reason as #7. It should be legal, aside from any fiscal effects, just a matter of choice. #2: No, no, no! We have already squandered too much of our common holdings. #1: Saved the best for last. You asked for a "creative" way to reduce the debt? OK, here's mine. Don't stop at cancelling the public debt to the Fed. Repudiate it all. Every dollar of it. To everyone. Firstly, we'll be out of the hole. Secondly, we'll not go back into debt so easily for a long time, as no one will loan us any more.
My solution is to start by making selfish ideas illegal. To have a government position a candidate should have to prove that all of their ideas promote equality....not profit.
1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. Yes and No. Legalize it, don't tax it. 4. No. Don't "normalize" trade--FREE IT. 5. Yes. 6. Yes. 7. Yes, then dismantle the military.
Legalize & tax marijuana. There is big money in it, and it would decriminalize it. A win ~ win situation.
SS has nothing to so with the national debt, so all privatizing that would do is cheat those of us that earned it out of it. Why would you even suggest that? No to the assets until we're told which assets!
And another inane idea: end all corporate welfare. Corporate welfare is the ridiculous propagandized name for the loopholes in the tax code people. They are the rules that allow write-offs for equipment purchases and the like that actually encourage businesses to grow and upgrade which in turn grows jobs in the business and the businesses they in turn buy from themselves. Do you really think oil companies won't pass those losses in tax deductions you propose to rescind from them on to consumers in the form of higher prices? Of course they will. Remember, businesses don't really pay taxes themselves but rather they are figured into the cost of the product to the consumer. In other words YOU pay for government taxes via higher consumer prices.
Kailyn, that isn't necessarily so. Germany and other countries successfully privatized their post offices long ago and employees were absorbed into the privatization.
You can't just "cancel" government debt to the federal reserve. Where'd you come up with that inane idea?
1, 2, if that means selling f 16 to other countries no. 3 should just be decriminalize 4, 5 no cause the government needs to account for the money already missing before they can just pass it along and pocket more before they do.6, 7
The only problem with eliminating the postal service that it would throw thousands of people out of work during a time when there are problems with unemployment.
I would think that stopping all foreign aid for awhile would be a top priority. After all, how can we keep giving money away when we have to borrow from China JUST TO RUN THE COUNTRY!!!
Legalize all drugs and tax them. Bring the troops home to protect our own borders. End all congressional and Presidential retirement and medical benefits. No Federal or State benefits to illegal aliens.
Legalize and Tax all (banned substances) if people insist on destroying themselves that's their business and by taxing it we could pay the debt off in about 2 years and still cover the costs of rehabbing the ones who want to get off the drugs!!
I am all for #3 and I don't smoke and don't plan to start
I also like #6 - more revenue will be produced by corporations paying even 1% more in taxes than my little ole me paying 10% more
#7 is a bit misleading - while I support an end to the hostilities in Afghanistan the troops will never come home there is still a military presence in Germany, Japan, Korea, the Philippians etc.
I love the military. I love knowing braver and better fit men (and women) are out there protecting and preserving my way of life. That said I think those brave soul can do the job with a few budget cuts. For instance, Having more planes than qualified pilots is nonsensical
I don't mean to start a debate - just offering my opinion
Absolutely NO on #5!!! #2 is a slippery slope and I think it should be carefully researched on a case by case basis. Absolutely YES in #6! Add a # 8. Tax the wealthy at the same percentage that you take the middle class!
@Raoul Van Kirk We in the military earned those benefits so that you can sleep at night If it was not for the military you would be speaking German, Russian, Chinese. May you should join and see what it is like being shot at and enemy coming at you in all directions seeing you buddy being blown away it is not pretty. Once you live that than think again.