The national debt exceeds $16 trillion. Yet the federal government annually loses: more than $305 billion to income tax evasion; more than $200 billion to fraud and waste in domestic programs; more than $400 billion to fraud and waste in other programs, subsidies to corporate and agricultural giants, and extraordinary tax breaks for the very wealthy; and more than $100 billion to special tax breaks for major corporations. Those losses exceed $1 trillion annually (and exclude the Defense Department, which a few years ago admitted it could not account for $2.3 trillion).
The solutions are evident. First, reform the tax codes to gain about $500 billion in revenue. Second, form a fully funded and staffed federal fraud squad charged with eliminating fraud and waste in all areas of the federal government (including the Defense Department). It should gain more than $500 billion annually, and could collect much of the $10 trillion lost to fraud and tax evasion over the last 10 years.
Result: Within no more than 20 years, the national debt should be eliminated entirely, without the need for Draconian budget cuts in any area. Then a flexible and balanced federal budget would be a real possibility.