If we were actually serious about eliminating the national debt, we need to stop adding to the deficit.

John Stossel, Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute, and Stuart Butler from the Heritage Foundation have put together a list of cuts that would balance the budget today and partially address social security and medicare for the future, which are the most significant long-term budget and deficit issues.

From John Stossel’s Take:

Defense cut by 2/3: $475 billion (Federal Budget, pg. 58)

Medicare/Medicaid*: $441 billion (Cato Institute)

Social Security*: $170 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Dept. of Education (includes Pell Grants): $106.9 billion (Cato Institute)

Social Security Means Testing*: $85.7 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Transportation: $84.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Tax Amnesty: $80 billion (Rep. Jared Polis D-Co.)

Eliminate Dept. of Labor*: $78.6 billion (Department of Labor and White House)

Eliminate HUD: $60.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Agriculture*: $33 billion (Cato Institute)

Cut civilian employee compensation: $30 billion (Cato Institute)

Stop maintaining vacant federal property: $25 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Foreign Aid: $21.2 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Energy*: $20.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate NASA: $19.6 billion (Cato Institute)

Federal Drug War: $15 billion (White House)

Earmark moratorium: $16 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Fannie/Freddie Subsidies: $14 billion (Federal Housing Finance Agency (p. 10))

Eliminate Dept. of Commerce: $13.9 billion (Department of Commerce)

Eliminate Dept. of Interior: $12 billion (White House)

Legalize Pot, Online gambling, Immigrants: $12 billion (Rep. Jared Polis D-Co.)

Privatize Army Corps of Engineers: $10.6 billion (Cato Institute)

Cut federal employee travel budget: $10 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate National Science Foundation: $7.4 billion (National Science Foundation)

End EPA’s State and Local grants: $6.5 billion (Cato Institute)

Repeal Davis-Bacon: $6 billion (Republican Study Committee)

Privatize TSA: $5.7 billion (Federal Budget)

Cut Dept. of Justice’s State and Local grants: $5 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Privatize Post Office: $4 billion (White House)

Eliminate Small Business Administration: $1.8 billion (Small Business Administration)

Lease coastal plain of ANWR: $1.5 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Federal Flood Insurance: $1.3 billion (CBO, pg. 3)

Abolish SEC: $1.3 billion (SEC)

Eliminate Corporation for National Community Service: $1 billion (Cato Institute)

Suspend acquisition of federal office space: $1 billion (Heritage Foundation)

End subsidies for public broadcasting: $500 million (Cato Institute)

Eliminate the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp: $480 million (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate the FCC: $439 million (FCC)

Eliminate the Endowments for Arts/Humanities: $332 million (NEA/NEH)

Total Cut: $1,882,619,000,000

Current deficit: $1,645,000,000,000

Surplus Achieved: $237,619,000,000

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