We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
They have to, because of all the things people want to get from government (ie from their hard-working neighbors' pockets). As Bruce said earlier today, government has become the god to whom many pray for the stuff they want to make life easier. Utopia is always just around the corner if only people sacrifice a little bit more for the Common Good.
Quickest things to deal with the debt? Cancel Obamacare, reform Medicare and Social Security, and unshackle the economy so we can get some growth going. While they're at it, shutter the Dept of Education, shutter the Commerce Dept, cancel Dodd-Frank, let GM, Fannie and Freddie go bankrupt, and trust-bust the giant banks if they are too big to fail because if I want to invest in a bank, I will do it on my own. Almost forgot one detail: vote out Obama.
Plus, reform the way banks do biz - $1 of capital http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=210183 would do amazing things not just to banking, but would force other financial firms (insurance, anybody....) to 'toe the line' in the financial shenanigans that have blossomed
Getting both our monetary house, along with those whom work within the monetary system, in line will bring back some common sense and remove the house of cards we have now...
Close the public schools. Lease the properties to private schools. Give parents vouchers, good at those schools, to the amount of what their school district pays per capita to educate a child. The teachers and principals would be welcome to apply to those schools for new jobs, at whatever wages they can negotiate. Funding public education != operating the schools the education occurs in.
While you're swinging your axe, keep in mind that the Commerce Department includes the National Weather Service, Patent and Trade Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Census Bureau.
In any case, the real money pit is Medicare/Medicaid. People are going to need medical care as they age, and it has to come from somewhere. What did you have in mind?
None of the reforms will accomplish anything, in fact most won't even be attempted.
First, there are strong political constituencies that want the status quo. Even Obamacare is here to stay. (Aetna just made a hugh bet it will stay.)
Second, the inefficiencies in bureaucracies are built-in and cannot be reduced. This is especially the case in Medicare and Medicaid and the schools. Each of them is labor-intensive and there are no "inefficiencies" to remove. One possible solution is the UK one: denial of care. That only works if the elderly stop voting.
The only conceivable solution to the budget crisis is a very large tax increase on both the middle class and the working class. Very Large. There is simply no money to be had elsewhere.
A non-solution is hyperinflation. We got the Nazis the last time, and we will get communists this time. Welcome to the Gulag/Death Camp.
Oh, there's money, but you'd not like how to collect it...
From where I stand, the only viable solution is default. Not the best, but its the only one that will see results.
Since our political class is unable to reform entitlements, lasso in spending, and be more fiscally sound, no solution that is amiable will be found, unless its total collapse.
Just the mention of entitlements raises the screeching from the Leftists from annoying to un-listenable. There is no amount of reason or logic that will sway "throwing grandma off a cliff" in their minds.
Only thing to do is soften your landing - your own land, being able to protect you family and posessions, and become self-sufficient - that will be the only way to survive this nosedive....