Guest Blogger: Part VII: The Debt Ceiling: The Antoine Marshall Proposal

Guest Blogger Antoine Marshall breaks down the Debt Ceiling and puts forward his original proposal (in a 7 part blog series)-- let's hope Congress takes notice.  Antoine Marshall is a rising 3rd year law student at Wake Forest University. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/antoine-marshall/1a/267/148

The Marshall Plan:
(Disclaimer: This plan is constructed under the premise that I had full authority. I understand that it would be politically unfeasible to pass in our current legislature)

  • Reduction through cuts and new programs: $3.28 Trillion Dollars by 2020 
  • Reduction through revenue increases: $2.9829 Trillion Dollars by 2020 
  • Additional Spending: $953 Billion Dollars by 2020
Following the Discretionary Spending Growth Rates in the President’s budget (projected at an additional $680 Billion), the final score for my 9 year deficit reduction plan is a net deficit reduction of $4.6299 Trillion dollars. And a near 50-50 ratio of cuts to revenue increases.

I understand that this is not politically feasible; this proposal doesn’t have a snowballs chance of passing.

It clearly violates the Republican’s no new tax pledge.

By creating the Carbon Tax/Cap and Trade, Millionaire Tax, and Financial Speculation Tax, I can’t even claim I’m closing tax loopholes or that allowing tax cuts to expire is not a tax hike. There would also be issue with the increased federal spending for education which many Republicans believe is a state/local issue.

Another issue would come from a new batch of stimulus spending. Even if it is half the size of the original stimulus spending.

Democrats would not like the Medicare premium increase, nor the Social Security benefits increase.

One change I think could catch on with both parties in Social Security reform is the idea of tying it to life expectancy. It would create a system where age increases occur automatically and don’t require votes.

Other issues I’d run into would be that the Public Option was defeated for a reason, and my proposal is overwhelmingly in favor of the middle/lower class as the expense of the upper class and corporations which would create a huge blow to any Republican or Democrat seeking campaign contributions.

If Paul Ryan can introduce a plan (which is probably overly conservative), I can too (which is probably overly liberal), and to my knowledge my plan is far more detailed than anything either side has released in the debt ceiling debate.

Will anyone listen? Probably not. Will anyone read the entire thing? Probably not.

Could I have spent my time doing something more constructive? Probably so.

But I took this as an opportunity to challenge myself, to gain knowledge, and in a way ensure that my preferred career choice is something I would love to do.

Most of my data and numbers come from the Congressional Budget Office, The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and The Center for Economic and Policy Research. If you want further detail into my sources contact me and I’ll see if I can get you the information.


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