A few years ago, I read an article about the nation’s $18T debt. It’s bigger now, of course. That article had a call for what to do about it. I replied to it, and my suggestions haven’t changed. And since we’re in the middle of tax season, I thought I’d put this out for the rest of the world.
Step 1: GET THE MIDDLEMEN (i.e. HEALTH INSURERS AND GOVERNMENT) OUT OF HEALTH CARE. (Trump WANTS a single-payer health care system). The more middlemen, the greater the cost to the consumer. Since the 1970’s, the number of physicians has remained relatively constant, while the number of administrators has grown almost in lock-step with the cost of healthcare. The so-called “Affordable” Care Act created new levels of administration, causing even more money that is ostensibly directed at medical services to be directed toward administrative costs, instead. Cut the bureaucracy, cut the cost of health care.
Step 2: CLEAN HOUSE IN THE LAW BOOKS.
There are hundreds of laws on the books whose primary effect is to create costly red tape while either having very little effect on actions they’re supposedly controlling or else intruding in individual actions that our founders never meant government to have control of. Get rid of them, and money that was spent in paying lawyers to split hairs over what exactly hundreds of laws do or don’t require can now be invested in the economy–which will mean more sales tax revenue for States (see Step 4).
Step 3: Overhaul the IRS. If you have to pay someone hundreds of dollars to do your taxes for you, they’re too complex. If nothing else, we’ll save money (and trees) on compiling instructions. (Despite the IRS no longer printing many forms themselves, there are still many people who need the instructions printed out for them–like my ex-professional tax preparer, completely-internet-illiterate mother)
Step 4: Cut welfare and SSI. With all the savings from Steps 1-3, fewer people will need it in the first place, and those who do need help will be better supported by community programs that can now afford to operate under the reduced tax burdens created by Steps 1-3. In fact, there’s a lot of Federal programs that would be better handled as State programs–as in Step 1, we save money by eliminating the middlemen who gather taxes from the States into the Federal coffers, and then redistribute them back to the States.
Step 5: Have a national lottery. Those who want to pay in to the Government for a chance to get rich can. Those who don’t, aren’t obligated to. Again, less taxes for the rest o us to pay.
Of course, there’s a reason that I said “5 simple steps” and not “5 easy steps.” Most of these actions would give power back to the people, and that’s one thing that will have a bureaucracy circling the wagons in no time. Too many people in power are too happy with the status quo. Which is why we continue to go deeper into debt.