We must balance the budget. In 1960, we ran our federal government for $100 billion a year. Today, we spend $1.5 trillion a year, and our national debt is more than $5.1 trillion. Unfortunately, the people have not benefited from all this spending and enormous debt. In fact, 93 percent of the American people believe their government wastes too much money. This is why we must balance the budget. One of the first actions I will take as president will be to recruit the most talented people and tell them their job is to find the fairest and best way to balance our budget without harming the American people. We will then explain this plan to the American people so they fully understand the sacrifices that will have to be made. Then, we will urge Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to ensure that the budget stays balanced.
We must also reform our tax system. As President, I will get rid of the IRS and the tax code, and replace them with a fair, paperless, modern system that will raise the revenues necessary to operate this great country. The first step in reforming our tax system is to define the problems by bringing together the leading authorities on taxes from the private and public sector. We will then study each of the proposed tax systems, including the flat tax, the consumption tax, the national sales tax, the savings tax, the value-added tax, the financial transaction tax, and any other viable proposal. Then computer models and the IRS databases will be used to carefully, thoughtfully and rationally model each of these proposed tax systems. The computer will have the same role in reforming our tax system that a wind tunnel would have in creating a new airplane.
Upon completion of this study, we will present these plans to the American people in plain language, in order to develop a consensus about the best tax plan. Each citizen will know the personal impact of the tax plans. As a final result, we will have a new system that will benefit every American, will balance our budget and enable us to begin paying down our $5.1 trillion national debt. We must also negotiate fair trade deals that benefit the American people. In the 1950s, 90 percent of the goods purchased in the United States were made right here in the United States. Today, only 50 percent of the goods purchased here are made in the United States. Because of our government's poor negotiating skills, American manufacturing jobs are being replaced by cheap overseas labor, including slave labor and child labor. Forming a team of world-class negotiators that will put America's interests first at every bargaining table will be one of my first actions in office. Before any of this is accomplished we must reform how our government operates and return our government to the people. I discussed the reforms that are needed to reach this important goal in an earlier question.