And I don't touch entitlements yet. I'm home with a sick kid so I looked up a few numbers to knock down the $1.5T or so deficit. Eliminate Home Mortgage Deduction - $130B Eliminate Department of Energy and Education - $100B Reduce Department of Defense to 2008 levels - $200B End Middle East Wars - $150B End Bush tax cuts for rich - $80B 10% across board cut for Federal Employees - $100B Close all foreign bases - $250B Total = $1T. Which is about 2/3 of the deficit. The rest can easily come from entitlements but I'm not going there. You can also make smaller cuts that make a difference now that the deficit is a mere $500B. A few comments : - On the Mortgage Deduction I would simultaneously eliminate property taxes which would balance that out for homeowners. This would end up being a tax increase as the states would have to raise sales or income tax to pay for the loss but so be it. This makes it simpler and fairer. It helps the federal disaster and the states can do what makes sense for them. - DoEn is a failed department that was supposed to get us off foreign oil 30 years ago. Well done. DoEd is un-needed, states do education. - Make the DoD cuts, let the Secretary of Defense decide what goes/stays. - Wars and tax cuts for the rich I just used numbers from MSNBC. If the savings are too high then it's the Libs' fault for exaggerating them. As is, that's the savings. - Cuts to Fed Emp was a guess based on google of # of employees * average salary. All the numbers are estimates but I don't believe they're way off. I am a conservative and I'm slashing defense, stopping wars and closing bases. And raising taxes. But the deficit is immediately under control. Now - entitlements HAVE to be cut because my cuts don't address their upcoming implosion. DarrylS said a few weeks back that entitlements are "a promise made". Yes but they're "a promise made that can't be kept", sorry. We can keep them but they're going to be cut / growth slowed. That's just how it is. But I don't want to get into medicare here because it'll turn into a health care debate again Bottom line, though, entitlements have to be flat lined in expenditures and divided up as fairly as possible as opposed to exponential growth.