This online simulation puts you on the spot to decide how to bring the Federal deficit down to a sustainable level. It took me a couple of tries, but I managed to meet their goal, and without adding a VAT or a Carbon Tax. I renewed the Bush tax cuts on people under 250k income, and I kept missile defense and NASA missions to the Moon and Mars. I drastically drew down our troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, canceled TARP, raised the retirement age to 68, and I cut earmarks, Department of Education funding, the Federal workforce, farm subsidies, and many other smaller programs. I did not tinker with the Healthcare Reform Law, but I did raise Medicare premiums and implement malpractice reform. Most of my savings were through spending cuts, but I did raise revenues by dropping the deduction for state and local income taxes, and by limiting itemized deductions for high income brackets. Those were tough calls, but I wanted to keep the Bush tax cuts and had to raise revenue somewhere.
I’m not sure their methodology is completely accurate, but the exercise is certainly useful, if for no other reason than to impress upon the mind the magnitude and the seriousness of the choices that need to be made. Everyone should spend a few minutes with this simulation.