A shocking analysis of the difference between federal outlays & tax receipts reveals that, for the most part, a balanced budget is within reach.
$2.6 trillion in tax revenue in 2021 proved to be $215 billion short of total government expenditures during the year. While that seems like a large deficit, it could have been wiped out with a +8% tax increase. While our absolute preference would be to simply cut government spending by -8% to eliminate the deficit, the point is that even post-covid lockdowns deficits could be managed responsibly.
What if fiscal policy required deficits to be equally borne by tax hikes and government spending cuts? Equal outrage from both government bureaucrats and taxpayers would likely result in pressure for our central planners to find a way to work within a sustainable budget so they could keep their jobs!