What would it take to balance the federal budget?

Gov. Gary Johnson is going to be in town today for a rally at UNM (I’ll be speaking). It got me to thinking about one of the core tenets of his campaign, that is his proposal to cut the federal budget by 43% in his first year. Completely-unrealistic, right? Not really.

If you take a look at the Historical Tables of the federal budget you will note that federal tax revenues in 2012 are expected to be about $2.5 trillion. If the government spent “only” what it did way back in the dark ages of 2005, we’d have a balanced federal budget. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember anyone starving in the streets in 2005. In fact, the national unemployment rate was 5.2 percent at the start of 2005 and dropped to 4.9 percent by the end of the year. That sounds a lot better than Obama’s recent 7.8 percent rate improvement and shows that as government has grown more rapidly in recent years, the economy has suffered. It’s time to unleash the private sector by returning resources to the free market, not the government.