Balance and Credit: A Libertarian Plan for Growth through Empowerment

In the United States, we keep seeing more expensive political campaigns, more corporate welfare, more military interventions, more income inequality, and more debt.  Our government has been a great success . . . at growing more government.  The number one problem for the people of the United States has been identified as the government of the United States.

I would not be running for President if I did not have a solution.  The Balance and Credit plan will cut government spending dramatically while growing the private, voluntary, social safety nets at the same time.  How can we cut government spending without decreasing services to the people who need them? Two modest changes to government fiscal and tax policy will change the incentive structure and the way government works.

  1.  Balance the budget, and keep it balanced.  It is not as hard as it may sound.  Democrats have already published proposals that would cut the deficit in half, by targeting spending that goes to special interests that support Republicans.  Republicans have already published proposals that would cut the deficit in half, by targeting spending that goes to special interests that support Democrats.  Just combine these cuts with those cuts, and the budget is balanced.  There would not be a single cut that is not already supported by half the government.  The problem is not fiscal, it is political.
  2. Change all charitable contributions from taxable income deductions to 100% dollar for dollar tax credits.  This would make it so donations to charity do not cost anything to the taxpayer.  The taxpayers would decide how much of the tax liability to send to the IRS, and how much to donate to the charities of their choice.

As taxpayers send more of their money to charitable organizations, less revenue would come into the IRS.  Because the budget must be balanced, there would need to be equivalent cuts in the Federal budget.  But then we would know where to make cuts.  If taxpayers are donating funds to educational organizations, then government educational spending can be cut.  If people are donating to hospitals and healthcare organizations, then government healthcare spending can be cut.  As long as the private charitable organizations are at least as efficient and effective as government programs, beneficiaries will get the same or more services, as government continues to shrink.

This plan puts government agencies in competition for funds with each other and with the private sector.  This will change the entire incentive system for Federal agencies.  Currently, if a government agency were created to solve a problem, and if the agency succeeded to dramatically reduce that problem, then they would get their budget cut.  If the health of Americans dramaticaly improved, if students began to outperform previous generations, if welfare programs succeeded in making people self-sufficient, then all those agencies would see their budgets dramatically shrink.  No wonder we see no progress.  Under the Balance and Credit plan, government agencies will feel great pressure to be efficient and effective, or lose taxpayer funds to private sector social programs.  Government programs would be run on evidence and effectiveness instead of politics and money.  Imagine Federal government agencies with a customer relations perspective!

The Balance and Credit plan empowers women and minorities.  Black taxpayers and their supporters can prioritize private social programs such as programs to rehabilitate and reintegrate the formerly incarcerated, rebuild out inner cities, and promote business growth in the black community.  Women can choose to fund programs that support their social priorities.  Hispanics can choose to fund the educational programs for their communities that actually work to make the next generation independent, self-reliant, with greater economic opportunities.  The Balance and Credit plan would be the plan of limited government and greater individual economic freedom, and also the plan of women’s liberation, Hispanic education, and Black Lives Matter.

As chief executive, the President has control over the operations of the executive branch, including Federal spending authorities and the IRS.  On taking office, I will deliver a budget and the Balance and Credit plan to Congress for passage.  While Congress considers and debates, I would put in immediate spending caps on all Federal agencies to limit spending to available revenue.  I would also implement the Balance and Credit plan by executive order.  Because Congress may be structurally incapable of balancing the budget and addressing our debt problem, the check and balance of Presidential power may be required.   I believe that if it is contested, that the court would find the Balance and Credit plan, similar to Reagan’s 1981 hiring freeze “not only constitutional and legally permissible but, as asserted by the president, they are essential to the well being and general welfare of the American people at this time.”

This type of massive reorientation of a government power structure can only be described as a revolution.  I can only see three possible ways to knock out of power the wealthy special interests who control our government, through armed insurrection, massive civil disobediance, or by voting for a candidate who can bring change.


About the Author
Libertarian candidate for President of the United States. I am a practicing physician at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. I participate in Daf Yomi talmud study in blessed memory of our son Alec. I have a sister and cousins who live in Israel. I have been a contributing columnist for the Cleveland Jewish News.
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