Here it is, based on your own income level. Seeing it this way helps to focus the discussion of what and how much to cut.

(I would cut things the military doesn’t want, for starters. But the biggest impact I’d make on the deficit is, as Alan Greenspan suggested on “Meet the Press” a couple of weeks ago, just reverting to the Clinton tax rates.)


“In a survey of 28 developed nations by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation,” writes blogger Ted McLaughlin, “it was shown that only two of those 28 nations have a lower tax burden than the United States — Mexico and Chile. Currently all taxes totaled together (federal, state and local) comprise about 24% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — by comparison, Great Britain’s tax burden is 34.3% of GDP, Germany’s is 37%, and Denmark’s is 48.2% (the highest of all 28 countries).”

Ralph Mason: “I engaged in a debate recently with someone who claimed that the American economic dynamo has been increasingly hampered by big government from Wilson on down, made much worse especially by the New Deal and the Great Society. I looked up GDP per capita since the Civil War to see if there were evidence for this. The result surprised even a liberal like me. Apparently the modern era of ‘big guv’ment’ has been the best thing that ever happened to us.”


Bill Gates thinks Salman Kahn has the answer, in 12-minute modules. And it’s here now, free. Here’s converting fractions into decimals. Here’s natural selection and the owl butterfly. Here’s the Fed funds rate. Here’s U.S. history from Jamestown in 1607 to the Civil War (in 18 minutes). There are more than 2,000 of these in all; knock yourself out. Yet think about it: if you can’t afford Tulane but have access to the Internet – and you did 20 videos a day (three to four hours worth) – you’d have done them all in a long summer. And still have time to make some money lifeguarding.


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