You may vote for the Winner by emailing your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org , between now and midnight, Christmas Eve. There's a Primo's best pizza riding on the outcome, and who knows, the winner might share!
To achieve a (ahem) balanced approach, spending and revenue collections were divided into four categories: General Spending, Defense/Security, Health Care/Social Security and Taxes/Revenues.
The "Responsible Moderates" team may sound like a mythical beast to folks at both political extremes, but they weighed-in to cut General Spending by $123B, modernizing roads and schools, but cutting allocations for NIH and water quality, and ending farm and AmTrak subsidies. They would also eliminate the one-dollar bill. They cut Defense by just over $1 Trillion ($872 of which assumes orderly withdrawal from current miss-adventures) and Health Care/Social Security by $1.51 Trillion, notably by block-granting Medicaid long term care, and raising both Medicare premiums and the taxable earnings cap for Social Security payroll taxes (actually a "revenue enhancement"). Under Taxes, they'd reform the system into three simple brackets -- 10/16/26%, thereby raising $1.3 Trillion. Finally, they'd end oil/gas subsidies, raise the gas tax by 25 cents and tax global corporate profits, thereby raising another $415B. NET budget effect: 10-year surplus of $4.4 Trillion (and massive unemployment among tax lawyers).
The "YanquillaDoras" saved $78B in General Spending, (agua, escuellas y NIH -- si! Roads, no!). Their Defense cuts were slightly higher at $1.05T, cutting some R&D and a missile defense upgrade. Health Care/Social Security was also similar to the RMs, at $1.46T; they would further regulate med-mal lawsuits and punitive damages. As to Taxes, the Yanquis would keep the current system, let All Bush2-era tax cuts expire, phase-out the mortgage deduction, end oil/gas subsidies and tax global corporate profits, thus raising $373B. Net budget effect: $2.96T surplus over 10 years.
Finally, the "AlaMojos" would cut deeper into General Spending â€“ they don't like schools, roads, NIH, water or AmTrak, but they'd keep the sawbuck, all to the tune of net $235B saved. Defense was similar to the others, at $1.05T saved. In Health Care, they'd "save" the same $457B from the payroll tax hike, but, as oldsters, they were kinder to Medicare/Aid, saving about half the amounts of the other two teams ($727B). Again taxes were a major differentiator, as they'd extend the Bush2 rates only under $250K incomes, impose a surtax on incomes over $1 million, and they would continue mortgage and charity deductions: netting-out that category at -$2.17T. Overall, the AlaMojos left us $160B in the hole, over 10 years.
Here's an attempt at a 10-year summary chart -- if it fails to convert, I will send you the detailed spreadsheet, upon email request.
RespMods Yanquis MoJos
Gen Spend $123B $78B $235B
Defense $1.01T $1.05T $1.05T
HC/SocSec $1.51T $1.46T $727B
Taxes $1.75T $373B -$2.17T
TOTAL $4.39T $2.96T -160B
Now, don't you think you could have done better; don't you wish you'd entered? Too bad, no pizza for you -- but you can still help pick the winner, so please vote!
This story contains 602 words.
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