Q:

Has the government explored all of its options to reduce the national debt?

A:

Quick Answer

The government has not explored all of its options for reducing the national debt. For instance, there have been no significant cuts to the Social Security program as of 2015. Over a 10-year period, a 15 percent cut in Social Security benefits could reduce national debt by $188 billion.

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Full Answer

Another way the government might try to reduce the national debt is by eliminating the ability to claim deductions on state and local income taxes. Over the course of a decade, this could generate more than $900 billion to reduce the national debt.

Imposing a tax on the production of greenhouse gases might also be a strategy the government would wish to pursue. Even a light tax on greenhouse gas production could generate more than $1 trillion over 10 years, in addition to its environmental benefits.

Other examples of ways the government might generate money to cut the national debt is by eliminating grants to large airports, cutting funding to space exploration programs and eliminating direct payments to agricultural producers. It's important to note that a certain degree of national debt is a healthy symptom of a growing economy. Often, citizens and the government decide it's smarter to incur debt than to cut popular or useful programs, such as Social Security or NASA.

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