The calculator works by having you make choices of where to raise revenue (pronounced "taxes") and where to wield your budget cutting axe.
I decided to give it a whirl, from a tea bagger/Republican perspective.
So. I cut taxes every opportunity I had. Bush tax cuts of 2001/20003? Kept 'em. Lowered tax rates on corporations. Refused all options to raise taxes or fees.
And based on the Republican position during the recent health care
My tea bags were on fire! I killed the remnants of TARP and rescinded any unspent money from the stimulus. Ha! Goodbye, socialism!
I left current defense spending stand. I cut foreign aid. I cut every education program I was offered. I cut earmarks. And the federal workforce. I increased veterans benefits. Cut missions to Mars and the Moon (which hurt, having grown up in the glorious Apollo era).
Having done my tea-baggerish best, I hit the "done" button. Uh-oh! The debt in 2018 with my GOP cuts was 81 percent of GDP. Fiscal crisis! Quick, let's talk about Islamic extremism! Besides, Dick Cheney said deficits don't matter, right? Look over there, Obama's giving Miranda rights to terrorists!
After calming down, I decided to take another stab. I reduced troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan. I cancelled missile defense and downscaled the budget for big navy ships. And I cut foreign aid (for kicks and giggles).
I reduced the size of the 2001/2003 tax cuts (but didn't eliminate them entirely). I did eliminate corporate tax cuts and itemized deductions for the wealthy. I raised user fees.
I didn't cut Medicare or Social Security benefits, but did raise the age of eligibility (to 67). I cut earmarks and farm subsidies. Kept education expenditures. Kept TARP and Recovery funds. I did cut the size of the federal workforce.
I passed cap and trade.
And (dammit!) I kept the Moon and Mars missions. We've got to have some vision beyond this horizon, yes?
I hit the "done" button and DING DING DING I achieved the 60% of GDP needed to save the free world.
Now, I'm not a fiscal expert and maybe a real tea bagger would make different choices that would somehow get to the magic 60%. But the Republicans (and the general public) don't seem to want to touch defense, Medicare or Social Security which taken together accounts for about 60% of the federal budget. You take that and a refusal to raise taxes or fees and you have mammoth debts. Refusal to acknowledge that is refusal to be serious.
But you try. And let me know how it goes.