A FiscalPrint for the Future: Creating America 2.0 and Winning the Economic Renewal Gold Medal


                The economy of the United States has been caught in the riptide of recession. Its struggles against the fiscal burdens of social security; the exploding costs of healthcare; the crumbling of critical infrastructure; and the metastasizing of income inequality; are all being endured without meaningful progress towards a nation-saving shore. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has had serious public health, economic, and fiscal implications – including the loss of tens of thousands of lives – setting our trajectory to take us away from the safety of the beach and threatening to wash us out into the sea of another historic Great Depression.


                The federal government has spent trillions of dollars and the Federal Reserve has engaged in a range of unprecedented actions to try and stabilize the economy and help those who have been adversely affected. But they have been made at a time when the country was already on an imprudent and unsustainable fiscal path. We will defeat this virus. The real question is, will we emerge from it willing and able to do what is necessary to put our nation’s finances in order and save our country?


                The truth is our growing national debt as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represents a much greater threat to a much larger percentage of our population than the Coronavirus. Increased government spending combined with the contraction of our economy related to the public health crisis will grow our debt-to-GDP from just under 80 percent prior to the crisis, to as high as 110 percent of GDP by the end of 2020 based on recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) models. This will shatter the prior record debt-to-GDP ratio of 106 percent set just after World War II. At that time, however, we had several factors working in our favor: the United States accounted for 50 percent of global GDP, demographics were working in our favor, the dollar was the gold standard currency for the world, and our elected officials took their duties as stewards of the government’s finances seriously. These allowed us to reduce our post-war high ratio of debt-to-GDP down to just 35 percent by 1980 – yet another gift from the Greatest Generation. Unfortunately, none of those conditions of success exist today.      


                Our leaders have abandoned their fiduciary responsibility to be good financial stewards of the public’s finances because the American voter has let them off the hook time and time again. As financial stewards, our public officials should focus their energy and resources on not just delivering positive economic results today, or being satisfied with leaving things better at the end of their term, but they instead must also aspire to build a renewed, innovative, and sustainable system that ensures the economic health of our nation for future generations. As citizens, we must require and support a whole-of-government economic transformation that is visionary in its breadth and depth and acted upon with urgency and at a scale that is commensurate with the threats we are facing. It must begin today, for it is always more difficult and costly to solve a problem the longer it goes unaddressed.


                If we are to create a whole-government transformation to repair and renew our economy, and to ensure that it is sustainable and delivers benefits to all Americans, we must have a shared sense of purpose and success in its outcomes. We need to agree on a foundation of principles that cut-across our political differences to find the places where Americans of all political stripes find common ground. Polling done by the Comeback America Initiative in 2012 found more than an 80 percent agreement on the following six principles for economic reform and renewal that our efforts should utilize as our “True North”:


  • Pro-growth – focus on growing the denominator faster than the numerator and decreasing our debt-to-GDP ratio to reasonable and sustainable levels over time.
  • Socially Equitable – costs should be fair, equitably realized by all socioeconomic groups, and must provide a secure social safety for those who are truly in need.
  • Culturally Acceptable – there are limits to which the American people will consent to be taxed, suffer crucial services to be cut, or damage the competitiveness of American businesses in the global ecosystem.
  • Mathematical Integrity – we must measure the right things in the right way to incentivize necessary behaviors; base our targets on reasonable, evidence-based assumptions; and transparently measure and report our progress to the American people regarding our successes and setbacks.
  • Politically Feasible – we must include a balance between revenue increases and spending reductions that can pass Congress and be signed into law by the President.
  • Meaningful Bipartisan Support - reforms must pass with significant bipartisan support so they will be deemed fair by a broad percentage of the public, and so they can be sustained politically over time.


These core principles will provide our True North guidance when the hard decisions need to be made on if, how, and when to implement proposals like the ones the Alliance Party outlines below.




  • Adopt a balanced scorecard approach to measure economic health that looks at where we are compared to plan, how we are trending, and how we compare to our competition.
  • Measure and set targets for public debt by its ratio to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rather than the size of the debt alone without context.
  • Get rid of the short-term joke of a debt ceiling in favor of a Constitutional Amendment for Fiscal Responsibility that acts as a credit card limit that can be exceeded for one-year – but only by Congressional declaration of war or because of a national crisis with the support of a super-majority of Congress.
  • Change to 2-year budgets and separate capital and operating expenses similarly to business accounting and to stop treating the desirable increases in capital investment in our economy the same as potentially harmful increases in spending.
  • Cap all spending except that which cannot be capped – Social Security and interest on the debt – and implement changes to how we budget for these significant expenses such as:
    • Social Security
      • Maintain or increase benefits for the majority and decrease them for the wealthy
      • Raise the cap on taxable earnings
      • Dramatically increase employee contributions through a guaranteed employment program
    • Defense
      • Set the bi-annual budget at 3 percent of GDP, with any increases allowed only based on clear and credible analysis of current and future threats
      • Right-size the largest bureaucracy in the world by rationalizing our force structure, global footprint, and reduce overheads
    • Healthcare
      • The single largest programmatic challenge for government, the private sector, and individuals. Next to interest on the debt, it is the largest driver of our fiscal imbalance. Refer to the Alliance Party’s CarePrint for advocated reforms that will deliver financially efficient and clinically effective outcomes for all Americans.




  • Set corporate tax rates at an internationally competitive level.
  • Implement flatter rates on individual taxes with a top rate of 28 percent.
  • Tax capital gains and dividends the same as earned income.
  • Aggressively eliminate tax preferences, eliminating everything except for incentives towards:
    • Retirement savings
    • Interest on mortgage for primary residence only with a cap of 300 percent of the regional median home value above which interest cannot be deducted
    • Corporate investments in basic research, not applied research
  • Implement a wealth tax with a progressive scale starting at an annual net wealth of $50 million and adjust the qualifying limit of the start of the estate tax to estates valued at greater than $10 million.




  • Invest comprehensively across all elements of infrastructure to include roads, water, energy, public education, healthcare, and communications.
  • Empower regional and local planning authorities of infrastructure investments to place decision-making where the unique challenges and opportunities of its citizens are known and understood.
  • Encourage public-private partnership and innovative project finance strategies. Ensure that long-term projects that address critical needs have sufficient and sustainable funding.
  • Elevate the priority of connectivity and access to affordable housing and transportation when planning and setting standards for policy objectives.
  • Require equity in costs and benefits of programs to avoid the imposition of unnecessary social costs on impoverished communities or the accumulation of unnecessary benefits to affluent ones, when making decisions on investments and/or the location of assets.
  • Foster innovation in the design, planning, and implementation of “smart city” and “smart rural” capabilities.
  • Make community infrastructure safer and more resilient to damage from natural disasters, changes in climate conditions, and allow for improved adaptability in response to changing social and economic conditions.




  • Create a job guarantee program for those who can work that will provide a direct mechanism for achieving permanent full employment.
    • Government to provide grants to eligible entities, including state, county, and local governments, to engage in direct employment projects that address community needs and provide socially beneficial goods and services.
    • The program will cover wage, benefits, and material expenses.
    • Employment can be either part-time or full-time depending on the needs of the employee.
    • Wage will be set at a living wage standard for workers in the program and incentivize non-government employers to provide better wages and benefits to compete with the program.
  • For our population that is unable to work as a result of a medically-validated disability, guarantee a living income aligned with federal poverty guidelines that factor in geographic variances in cost of living such as a federal poverty level + 30 percent rather than a national minimum hourly wage.
  • Protect workers’ rights to freely associate and organize on both an industry basis as well as a firm-by-firm basis.
  • Implement globally competitive policies on workplace safety, employment mobility, personal and family leave, and child-care support.