Fifth Institute a balanced budget amendment, or a law setting the maximum budget limit to be no more than last years total revenue or a running average of the last 3 years revenue. The only time we would allow a deficit would be in time of war, natural disaster or a recession that can be considered bad enough to be a disaster. During these times of disaster the deficit we would be allowed to run would only be the cost of the disaster itself. So if a war costs an extra 300 billion, our total deficit could only be 300 billion. This would help stop politicians from spending money we don't have just to be popular. This law or amendment would require that the politicians who want to spend the money have to raise taxes or cut other spending first. Spending money is popular, and raising taxes or cutting old programs is unpopular. This is why politicians always want to run deficits. It lets them spend money and be popular, without all the unpopularity they would get from raising taxes or cutting other programs to pay for it. Politicians are constantly trying to spend money and let some future generation of people come up with a way to pay for it. This is because doing things this way is what helps the most at election time. We need to end this behavior if we are going to have any chance of being financially sound.
Sixth We need to prioritize spending. There are a lot of insignificant and useless programs that only exist because some politician wanted to spend money to become popular. In order to eliminate only the most useless spending we need to rank all spending so we know what is the most important to us. The way to do this is to divide up the budget into even pieces. Give each congressman and senator an even share of the money to allocate. You can give senators four times as much as the congressman, in order to split the budget evenly between congress and the senate. This is because there are over 400 congressmen, but only 100 senators. Currently Republicans control congress and Democrats control the senate, so if the money is split evenly between the two it would be fair to both parties. Then each party can decide the order their people go in, as long as they put one senator at least every fourth person to evenly spread out the senators. Then we just alternate Republican to Democrat, and each one will allocate their money to the program they believe to be most important from those that have not yet had money allocated to them. Since this is just an exercise in ranking programs you would not be allowed to allocate money to a program past it's current budget. Once you are done, you can let each party make trades in case they believe a mistake was made. Basically re ordering by swapping the position of two congressmen or two senators. At the end of the day, the money that got allocated last is the least necessary, and if we have to balance the budget by cutting spending, that is the spending we would cut. Spending that is ranked at the top would not get cut. Since our deficit is about one third of our budget, only the bottom third of spending would likely be cut. Then we could easily decide if the programs in the bottom third of the budget are worth raising taxes to keep, or if we should just cut them.
The cuts I've specified here total to 2 Trillion dollars, so it should be possible to entirely eliminate our deficit with nothing more than eliminating the waste in government and getting rid of Obama care. Some reforms to entitlements would likely be necessary in order to reduce government waste enough, but actually cutting benefits should not be necessary. Reform to health care would also be necessary, since medicare and medicaid are major spending items, and medical costs include a very large amount of wasteful spending. You can see my page on health care reform for my suggestions there.