THE BLOG
02/23/2011 03:17 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Educating for Democracy: Eliminating the Deficit, A Modest Proposal

In view of the political agenda, which is the center of debate in Congress and the state houses around the country, cutting budgets at a time of recession seems to me as logical as the way in which educational "reform" is being run -- improving education by wrecking the teaching profession.

I would like to offer my own modest proposal to not just balance the budget but eliminate the deficit, not in ten years, or even five years, but in two at the most. (NOTE: Although the numbers for savings are imaginary, the politicians who believe that balancing a budget and reducing the deficit during a recession are more important than providing the vast majority of the American citizenry with a chance at a decent life are real.)

  1. Reducing the requirements for teacher certification to a high school diploma (or GED) and hiring anyone at minimum wage (See #5) who can read a scripted lesson and be able to look at a camera in order to increase distance learning. Savings: $500,000,000,000.
  2. Closing all libraries, community centers, public parks, beaches, zoos, museums and other publicly funded cultural and recreational facilities and reopening only those that can charge enough of an admission fee to recoup any operating expenses. Savings: $100,000,000,000.
  3. Eliminating any government subsidies for college education, including Pell Grants, low-interest loans, scholarships and any other financial support. Savings: $250,000,000,000.
  4. Raising the retirement age for social security immediately to 75 and capping the age eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare to 65. Savings: $1,000,000,000,000.
  5. Reducing the minimum wage to $2 an hour which would make us more competitive with China and India and cut costs for municipal, state and federal employees by pegging their recalculated salaries to twice the minimum wage. Savings: $2,000,000,000,000.
  6. Eliminating the EPA, the Consumer Protection Agency, the Center for Disease Control and any other regulatory agency that impedes the God-given right of the entrepreneurs to bring prosperity to this country through their ability to create wealth -- mostly theirs. Savings: $150,000,000,000.
  7. Passing the XXVlll amendment to the Constitution to abolish the Xlll amendment so that slavery can be legalized again. Since it is already in practice in some states in the guise of "prisoner vocational training," it can be easily adopted to wider uses in the "Worker Rehabilitation Camps" that will be built around the country to deal with "disruptive social elements" such as union organizers, the unemployed, the sick, and the aged. Savings: $1,000,000,000,000.
  8. Eliminating government support for any publicly financed media such as National Public radio, and such cultural and health organizations as the National Endowment to the Humanities, the National Endowment to the Arts and Planned Parenthood. Savings: $500,000,000.
  9. Using the newly legalized slave labor force to build the WRC's that will provide the overwhelming majority of Americans with shelters, limited recreational facilities and isolation from the 10 percent of the population that will truly thrive even more than they have now when the budget is finally balanced. Savings: $500,000,000,000.

Total savings: $5,550,000,000,000. In two years the deficit would vanish! With a balanced budget the United States will return to fiscal solvency in a "New America" for those who make more money than they could ever need from those who never had enough money to afford what they needed. So we will go down in history as Athens, Rome, Spain and the British Empire have done before us.

My only alternative suggestion is to establish a massive WPA for the unemployed building and restoring our crumbling infrastructure, return the tax structure to what it was in the 1960s, lift the income cap on social security taxes and let income redistribution finally go in the right direction -- downward, not upward.