Esquire Commission Stabilizes the Debt!
They Did It!
Kudos to the Esquire Budget Commission for releasing a budget plan this morning! Former Senators Gary Hart, Bill Bradley, Bob Packwood and John Danforth came up with a plan to balance the budget by 2020. And their discussion was civil! Here's a table for how they would stabilize the debt.
|Policy||Savings in 2020 (billions)|
|Gradually raise retirement age to 70||$49|
|Use chained CPI-U to calculate Social Security COLAs||$23|
|Increase years used to calculate benefits||$14|
|Subtotal, Social Security||$86|
|Enact the Administration's proposed weapons system cuts||$4|
|Reverse the "Grow the Army" Initiative||$10|
|Restructure the military along strategic lines||$169|
|Assume cost of engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq will decline||$126|
|Institute medical malpractice reform by creating medical courts||$10|
|Savings, Health Care||$10|
|Enact the Administration's proposed spending program terminations||$10|
|Cut the federal workforce by five percent||$26|
|Delay NASA missions to the Moon and Mars||$4|
|Reform farm subsidies||$13|
|Eliminate all earmarks||$18|
|Use chained CPI-U for COLAS in federal civilian and military pensions||$6|
|Subtotal, Other Spending||$71|
|Subtotal, Spending Savings||$476|
|Subtotal, Interest Savings||$142|
|Total Spending Savings (Including Interest Savings)||$618|
|Repeal employer health care exclusion and replace it with a tax credit||$63|
|Increase the gas tax by $1 per gallon||$130|
|Limit itemized deductions for higher earners||$57|
|Keep tax rates near current policy levels||-$273|
|Reduce state and local sales tax deduction by 80%||$12|
|Eliminate subsidies for biofuels||$16|
|Include new state and local government workers in Social Security||$21|
|Total Revenue Increases||$26|
|Total Projected Spending in 2020||$4,681|
|Total Projected Revenue in 2020||$4,693|
|Total Projected Surplus in 2020||$12|
|Projected Debt-to-GDP Ratio in 2020||52%|
We have Paul Ryan’s Road map, the Galston-MacGuineas plan, and now a really good plan from four former members of Congress. We are thrilled to see more and more specific ideas entering the discussion.
We haven’t run through the numbers yet, but you can at https://crfb.org/stabilizethedebt/.