“Fixing the U.S. Debt, Immigration and Creating A Participatory Democracy.”By Tom Tierney 15 March 2012If you visit the U.S. debt clock website (www.usdebtclock.org), you’ll see the U.S. debt as of today is over$15T (15 trillion dollars) which breaks down to just under $50K (50 thousand dollars) per U.S. citizen(divide the total debt by the current number of U.S. citizens).My proposal to fix the U.S. National Debt is as follows (don’t start crying with the 1st point below, it getsbetter at the end): 1. “Personalize” the debt: every U.S. citizen becomes personally responsible for their share of the debt ($50K), you cannot default (bankruptcy) on this debt, the obligation is removed at death (payment from estate or forgiveness). 2. “Original debt”: if you are born in the U.S. or become a U.S. citizen, you automatically incur “original debt” or the $50K (some religions believe in “original sin”, thanks Adam and Eve! Here we have “original debt”, thanks Congress!). As we add more citizens, everyone’s balance gets adjusted (more people, more payers, less debt per individual). 3. “Payments”: payments start on your 18th birthday, interest does accrue. Minimum payments or payments based on adjusted gross income at tax time. Everyone will at least pay a portion of their debt each April, you now have to “pay to play” in the U.S.A. 4. “Balanced Budget”: Congress must now implement a balanced budget. If extraordinary events occur and future debt is taken on, that debt will be immediately added to the per citizen bill (we have “life-long” accounts). 5. “Budget Surpluses”: any budget surplus is applied equally to each citizen’s bill to write down their debt. 6. “Death”: Uncle Sam, with his big hat, is first in line at death at any estate. If an individual dies without an estate, their debt is forgiven. A forgiven debt is added into the general taxpayer pool of debt, any surplus would be added into the pool as well.It’s a simple plan that will probably make most tax payers “simply mad”! However, it is fair, it could bemade to be unavoidable and it could have many positive repercussions:
1. “Congress is held accountable”: Congress (and the President) are finally forced to run a “balanced budget” - the more sane financial arrangement as any American, American family or business would use. 2. “Participatory Democracy”: as citizens I suspect we collectively will be paying much more attention to what Washington politicians are doing in regard to our bottom line. We see the affects of policy and are more in tune to voice opinions as to the direction of the country. 3. “Immigration”: we would welcome immigration and a path to citizenship for those who would take on the debt obligation ($50K) to have the opportunities available here in the U.S. I suspect in some ways we will get back to our roots: folks who are productive citizens would see the opportunities available in the U.S. well worth $50K, as compared to their home countries. I suspect we’d have much less of an illegal immigration problem because each citizen holding their individual tax burden would not want to see anyone “getting a free ride”. 4. “Class Warfare”: maybe this ends the “class warfare” baloney that most politicians trot out each election cycle. If citizens are very successful, they pay lots of taxes and we have surpluses (more likely with controlled spending and a balanced budget), that surplus would then go into every citizen’s account (directly) equally distributed. It’s potentially the most fair implementation of a tax structure (true “trickle down”).Do I expect Congress to run and implement such a plan? Highly unlikely: it will hold them accountable, itinstills fiscal discipline and removes finger pointing. They would actually have to work and be measuredby their accomplishments like everyone else, yikes!Do I expect U.S. citizens to be happy about such a plan? Initially not, but what other fair, equitable andaccountable plan is being offered by anyone that is as simple or offers true shared sacrifice?The only way something like this would work is full participation and no loop holes. Whatever changescome with the Congressional spending and taxing plans exist outside of this plan, which is onlyconcerned with current, and future, debt payment.Tom Tierney lives in Encinitas, CA and is a member of Tech Coast Angels (www.techcoastangels.com).Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tech_coast_angels for more background information on the TCA.