Budget Priorities

Published by Randell Hynes on

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Podcast Audio

A Powerful Majority Can Unleash American Ingenuity

The annual federal budget compilation has been informally turned over to the President of the United States. The House of Representatives has the Constitutional authority for managing the budget and indebting the government without being questioned. The format for presenting the budget has become standardized and has rarely been updated.

I make insights here that repurpose tax money to expand on an existing program called Opportunity Zones. It’s a plan that incentivizes investment of private money to supplement tax dollars to help Americans living in over 8,000 areas designated by each State and accepted by the IRS as being “underserved”.

Overview of the Federal Budget

National Priorities Project has a 2015 Federal Budget 101 page that’s good reference for seeing how our tax dollars are spent. I won’t try to rewrite something that is so well described there. Learn about the budget process, where tax dollars come from and where they go. As well as, a description of borrowing and debt. They share some interesting images displayed below. These are overviews to use as a guide to move forward with new ideas for long term solutions for creating opportunities for generations of Americans through public, private partnerships.

Americans sent nearly $4 Trillion to the US Government last year. That money was spent according to historic priorities or to a lesser amount, set by the controlling party’s preferences. Since neither major party’s membership is more than about 1/3 of Americans it’s reasonable to say some tax dollars are not spent on the priorities of most Americans. That’s an issue, but the root of the problem is the budget has become stale. Neither party offers plans for truly advancing the policy priorities of the majority of Americans. That’s because neither party ever has enough votes for relevant change and both parties will always oppose the other. And everyone knows it.

When a majority of Senators and Representatives are elected that agree to advance the policy priorities of the majority of Americans, then needed change can finally occur.

Big Ideas

No big ideas are ever attempted because both sides know the other side will always oppose ANY ideas. The appearance of failure is not an option for either side. Even so, failure to move forward is always the result. Meanwhile the 11% to 15% poverty rate stays steady and the number of Americans living in poverty increases as the US population grows by birth and overwhelming immigration.

The ideas presented below are not set in stone. They are just ideas that demonstrate Americans innovation can move the nation forward with the vast tax revenue we already send the IRS. We can accomplish many of our goals with creative and inclusive planning using all of our resources and genius.

It’s unfortunate that some Americans that dwell on the past, believe that their group should be considered over another group, or profit from fear and human misery have led us to where we are today. But without big ideas the United States of America would not be the greatest country to ever exist.

Department of Education

Less than 10% of local school funding comes from the federal government. An undetermined amount of that is eroded from local budgets by unfunded mandates and adherence to national standards that are forced on local school districts and States. The most controversial idea in this Article is the defunding of the Department of Education and reuse of it’s assets for Opportunity Zones 2.0.

Opportunity Zones 2.0

Opportunity Zones is an on-going program of Housing and Urban Development that marries private investment with public funds to invest in officially designated underserved communities.

Opportunity Zones are economically distressed communities, defined by individual census tract, nominated by America’s governors, and certified by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury via his delegation of that authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Under certain conditions, new investments in Opportunity Zones may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. There are 8,764 Opportunity Zones in the United States, many of which have experienced a lack of investment for decades. The Opportunity Zones initiative is not a top-down government program from Washington but an incentive to spur private and public investment in America’s underserved communities.

8,764 officially recognized Opportunity Zones | Policy Map >

Opportunity Zones 2.0 is an across the board effort to revitalize the country that include these facilities for serving public needs and curing problems related to lack of opportunities in underserved communities.

  • Department of Education Defunded.
  • Repurpose Military Spending to rally troops into a productive hub of learning and opportunity for all Americans,
  • Plan and develop one or more new Military-based Super Cities for up to 40,000 Armed Services troops.

    A total of four, one built a minimum of each four years, or as quickly as developers could reasonably make them ready using private and public funds. Designed as a hubs for learning centers, strategically placed to support the following:
  • Rapid Global Military Deployment system (DACG+),
  • Permanent Station of Army and Marines,
  • New or preferably expanded Air Force Base to support deployment and public transportation,
  • National Service hub,
  • Cyber Defense hub,
  • Health Emergency communications hub,
  • Trade Schools hub,
  • Mental health facility,
  • Senior retirement hub,
  • World class hospital for all, including no cost for Veterans, Seniors, Military and dependents,
  • National Guard and Army Reserve training,
  • Adult Prisoners nominated by parole boards for transition training,
  • Wind down overseas troops deployment to reduce the majority of 160,000 troops stationed outside the country,
  • Solar Cooperatives,
  • 21st Century Homestead land grants program,
  • Affordable homes that deed the lot without cost. After a TBD threshold the lot would be included with the house and could be sold. Equity borrowing would be regulated until full payment or the first owner occupied sale,
  • Additional housing and services to support the new community,
  • Service members can contribute to own equity in housing,
  • Enlistment bonus of land grant,
  • Bolster adjacent communities,
  • Service members learn a skill before separation,
  • Service member teaching opportunities during service and after separation,
  • Attract entertainment venues,
  • Huge grocery facility open to the public.

Preferred Resources to Establish Super City

  • Air Force Base,
  • Water or affordable plan to deliver water,
  • Unused Federal Land, likely western states. Areas around Nellis AFB north of Las Vegas and Fairfield AFB near Spokane pop out as likely candidates,
  • Interstate Highway Access to a Coast,
  • Central to established Opportunity Zones,
  • High-speed Internet trunk.

Industries expected to contribute private funding and benefit from construction and operation of Super Cities:

Draft coming.

Publishing first draft: 6/20/2021

Federal Reserve Bank Transparency

Draft coming.

Each Common-Sense, Common Ground article will be published between now and Labor Day. Subscribe on MiddleParty.us to receive Middle Party News. Follow MiddlePartyUs on Facebook and Twitter.

Randell Hynes

Managing Director of Rampart Caucus—US.

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