(Russ Wheeler) – There is lots of talk in Congress these days about balancing the national budget. While the current batch of Republicans are making a lot of noise about limiting spending, I don’t feel that they are truly serious about it. While contemplating this state of affairs, I remembered a method that I used once to balance my personal money situation. The 10 items below will return fiscal responsibility to the government and personal responsibility to the people.
I am proposing that Congress put forth and pass into law the following:
1. Implement the 80-10-10 rule for budgeting.
a. The total budget CANNOT exceed 80% of the expected revenues.
b. Ten percent of the expected revenues will be required to be placed in reserve and cannot be touched except in the event of a true national emergency within our country or in the event of a war declared by Congress.
c. The remaining 10% of expected revenues will be required to pay off the national debt.
i. Once the national debt is eliminated, the 10% of revenues used to retire the national debt will be added to the reserve fund.
ii. After the national debt is retired, 30% of the reserve fund may be used to make loans to businesses that manufacture goods within the United States of America.
2. Repeal the current tax structure and reform the IRS to implement #3.
3. Implement a flat tax of 10% on ALL persons and legal entities that receive a wage or make a profit in any form. That rate shall be set for perpetuity. Congress cannot change the rate for any reason. This will give every American a stake in the running of the government.
4. Impose tariffs on goods imported from any country that does not implement fair trade agreements that are approved by the Congress that favors the U.S. Eliminate the Most Favored Nation status from any country that does not implement a fair trade treaty.
5. Eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy, Homeland Security (including the TSA), HUD, ATF, DEA, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and all social engineering programs, such as food stamps, welfare, and a sundry of other give-away programs that make people dependent on government largess. For a comprehensive list of U.S. government agencies go to http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml. Defund everything that does not have to do with national defense or disease control. At least 80% of these departments, bureaus, agencies, councils, committees, centers and commissions can be eliminated.
6. Eliminate all subsidies — yes, ALL of them. If it can’t survive in the open market, then get rid of it.
7. Eliminate all current foreign aid programs. No future foreign aid shall be given to any country that opposes any U.S. policy.
8. Eliminate the “War on Drugs.” This has been the most outlandish boondoggle against personal responsibility ever foisted upon the personal freedoms of the American people.
9. Close ALL U.S. military bases outside of the U.S., except for those directly involved in the execution of a Congressionally authorized war. Once that war has ended, those bases will also be closed.
10. All returning military personnel from the closed bases will be stationed along our northern and southern borders with full authorization to protect the borders from any intrusion.
(Mr. Wheeler is vice chairman of the Organized Labor Party.)