Just start cutting. Life will go on. Buy out the government employees (even if it is distasteful) and close programs and reduce agencies significantly. This goes for the Pentagon, the EPA, the Department of Education, the IRS, all of it. Just start cutting. Make it a requirement that each federal agency cut its budget by 5% if it wants to get a full allocation for next year.
In other words make it so that 95% of this year’s budget is the best case scenario for next year for an agency. In order to get that 95% an agency needs to make sure to cut. If it doesn’t cut deep enough its budget is reduced that much more.
Change the incentives. Right now agencies spend every last dime so they can ask for more each year. Make them HAVE to cut.
The GAO identified 68 new actions Congress or the executive branch could take to save taxpayers, including eliminating duplicative Coast Guard boat stations and assessing the more than 150 STEM programs across numerous agencies.
“The federal government faces an unsustainable long-term fiscal path based on an imbalance between federal revenue and spending, primarily driven by health care spending and net interest on the debt,” the GAO said. “Addressing this imbalance will require long-term changes to both spending and revenue and difficult fiscal policy decisions. Significant action to mitigate this imbalance must be taken soon to minimize the disruption to individuals and the economy.”