How to Balance the Budget
The Economist's plan to reduce American debt: 1. Let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. This alone nets $172 billion and eliminates a third of the 2015 deficit. This move has at least 13 times the maximum notional impact of eliminating earmarks, it might be worth a shot. 2. Subject some incomes over $106,000 to payroll taxes. This has always been a good idea, and now more than ever. Nets $50 billion. 3. Bug out of Iraq and Afghanistan—get troop levels down to 30,000 by 2013. Every nation eventually adopts the foreign policy it can afford. Nets $86 billion. 4. Cut the size of the military, and shrink the Navy and Air Force fleets. Nets $44 billion. 5. Institute a carbon tax. Nets $41 billion, saves planet.