Posted 5 years ago on April 16, 2012, 2:12 p.m. EST by gforz
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I'm a generally conservative person, I would say what liberals would call a ".moderate" conservative because I'm mostly concerned about fiscal issues and not social ones. I'm trying to see if we can "cut to the chase"and figure out a way to reduce our deficit and debt and get a relatively balanced budget without killing any constituency entirely. That would be ideal. Regardless of what you may have heard or read from the talking heads who like to gin up us vs. them hatred, mostly to keep their ratings, conservatives and liberals agree on more than they disagree I believe. There are extremes of course, but the vast majority of Americans believe in basic common-sense values like doing what you say you're going to do, honoring an agreement, paying what you owe, assisting others when they can not do so, etc. It's usually a matter of degree that is the difference. It is possible to look at the big picture and adjust both tax and spending levels and come pretty close to balancing the budget without axing entire programs. The biggest issue is Medicare, whose growth cannot be sustained through tax increase in the next couple of decades. Here are some rough figures:
Gross National Individual Income- $13.3 trillion (broken as follows) Top 1%- $2.26 trillion, $318 billion taxes paid( over $343k) 2%-50%- $9.31 trillion, $757 billion taxes paid ($32-$343k) Bottom 50%- $1.728 trillion, $25 billion taxes paid ($32k and below) Total individual tax receipts- $1.1 trillion
U.S. Corporate Profits (annualized)- $1.67 trillion, $180 billion taxes paid Another $800 billion in social security and medicare taxes Excise and estate taxes- $200 billion approx.
Spending- $3.6 trillion annually Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP- $835 billion Social Security -$725 billion Defense/Nat. Security -$700 billion Other safety net programs-$466 billion Federal employees/veteran$252 billion Interest on Debt $230 billion Transportation $108 billion Education $72 billion Science and Medical research $72 billion "Other" programs $144 billion
So, we're about $1.3 trillion in the hole each year.It looks like the top 1% could pay more. Let's say we double their tax from the $318 billion (it looks like that would put the average up to a bit over 28% of their total income), then let's dip into the next 49% and try and get a 50% increase, which would take the average from 8% of income to 12% of income and raise an additional $375 billion. Then, just so everyone can say they're contributing, we get $5 billion from the bottom 50% of Americans or about $92 per household per year. So far, we've raised revenue $698 billion. Then we go to U.S. corporations, who, from the looks of it, make $1.67 trillion and pay $180 billion, or about 10.8% in effective taxes. How about we lower the tax rate to 15% across the board and take out all the loopholes and subsidies. That should raise another $66 billion in corporate taxes, so we have a total of $764 billion in added revenue. So we need approximately $536 billion in spending cuts to balance our budget. Let's take the savings from getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan- $159 billion to start with. Now from a baseline defense budget of around $536 billion let's take an additional 10%l something I would think could be easily attained without risking our national security. That cuts another $53 billion. Now let's take a similar 10% cut to the discretionary spending budget, which would cut another $64 billion. We're already at $276 billion in cuts without anyone having been hurt terribly. The rich are paying 28% of their gross income, the next 49% are paying 12% of theirs, and the less well off are paying about 1.7% of theirs. The corporations have had their rates lowered as they wished from 35% down to 15% but with no deductions, a very fair trade off and one that raises revenue. The military has 90% of its budget and so do the Congress critters in spending discretionary income. We've reduced the annual gap to around $300 billion and no one has touched SS, Medicare, or the other safety net programs. I would think we could tweak a combination of those, limit their growth, etc. and eliminate that deficit over time. Where am I wrong?