The Senate Tea Party Caucus laid out its plan to balance the federal budget within the next five years. If enacted, the spending cuts will reduce President Obama’s projected spending by about $11 trillion during that period of time. Their plan, entitled ‘A Plan to Revitalize America’, would only be able to become law if the Democrats lose their majority in the Senate.

Currently, the Tea Party Caucus, which has 62 House members, only has four adherents in the Senate. However, three of the four most conservative senators (Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul) are members. The other senator who is affiliated with the group is Jerry Moran from Kansas, who is the 22nd most conservative senator. I’d hazard a guess that agriculture subsidies have affected his ranking.

How do these senators plan to balance the budget? First, Medicare would be turned into a premium support plan that would give senior citizens a similar health care benefit to that currently enjoyed by members of Congress. This change would save $1 trillion. Social Security would also be affected. The eligibility age would gradually be increased; as well, benefits would be indexed according to income.

Four federal programs that are currently managed by the states, S-CHIP, Medicaid, food stamps, and child nutrition programs, would be turned into block grants. This would save the federal government substantially, since each of these programs usually grow faster than others, since inflation tends to hit them hard.

Most discretionary programs (everything but defense), would be returned to 2008 spending levels. Foreign aid would be reduced to $5 billion per year, which I assume would all go to one nation. They also seek a change in the tax law mandating a 17% flat tax on both individuals and corporations.

They also plan a number of political moves that are largely outside of the budgetary arena. They plan to eliminate the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, and HUD. They would also repeal Obama Care, and would repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.