A Surplus in Five Years

The senators most aligned with the TEA Party have produced legislation designed not merely to balance the budget, but to create a surplus within five years.  Such a plan might begin to address the severe budgetary issues threatening the nation:  the unfunded promises in Federal pensions, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that will consume the budget.  We must do this sooner and faster, rather than later and more slowly.

The Hill describes the plan -- eventually, after seven paragraphs of explaining that it is a "wish list" that can "never pass" and providing talking points about it.  Here are the details.
The lawmakers said they would turn Medicare into a premium support plan that would give seniors the same healthcare plan as members of Congress. They say this would save an estimated $1 trillion over 10 years....  
The trio would curb Social Security spending by increasing the retirement age over time and indexing benefits to individual incomes. High-income earners would see slower growth in their benefits while low-income workers would see increased benefits.   
The proposal would fund Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps and child nutrition programs through block grants.  It would cut most discretionary spending to fiscal year 2008 levels but spare national defense spending from the deep cuts mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act.  It would freeze foreign aid spending at $5 billion a year and eliminate the departments of Commerce, Education, Housing and Urban Development and Energy and privatize the Transportation Security Administration.   
The plan would repeal the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
All of that sounds like a good start.  It's a nice touch that they don't "eliminate" foreign aid, as it is one of our cheaper but more effective foreign policy tools.  It's an easy cut that demagogues often suggest to Americans, but we get a lot of mileage out of USAID in places like the southern Philippines.


Texan99 said...

I was glad to see them put that plan out. It deserves all the publicity it can get.

bthun said...

"All of that sounds like a good start. "


Howsomeever, given the human tendency to avoid pain at almost any price and our tendency to rationalize anything we do towards that end, I fear we, the Republic, will be going Greek within 5 years, if not sooner.