How the Hoi Polloi Would Balance the Budget

The New York Times has published 6,989 solutions to its online Budget Puzzle, and the results are pretty encouraging.

The New York Times collected 6,989 responses to its interactive budget puzzle via Twitter and published the results.

Assume for a moment that this is a representative sample of America and the results are actually very encouraging. Among the moves that more than 60 percent of respondents endorsed are scaling back military spending, letting the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 expire, and instituting a new carbon tax. We're reasonable people!

As an experiment, I went though the budget puzzle again to see how far down this list you'd have to go to actually balance the budget. The result: You only have to go as far as "Return the estate tax to Clinton-era levels" and you're done. That means you could balance the budget without doing anything that has less than 58 percent support (of Times readers).