Balancing the budget? Easy
1. Stop all wars. Declare victory and come home. It worked in Vietnam. Yes, Vietnam fell to the Communists, but so what? The world didn't come to an end. Yes, Iraq and Afghanistan might fall to the terrorists, but so what? People are only terrorists when they've got nothing to lose. Once in power, they don't want to risk being obliterated. And with no outside threat, they will in time grow more moderate. Besides, if we stop meddling in the Middle East, terrorists will go back to blowing up each other instead of trying to blow us up.
2. Let the tax cuts expire. It's as simple as that. Before the tax cuts, we had a thriving economy. After the tax cuts, we had a decade of the slowest growth in 30 years. Past history shows that the higher the taxes on the rich, the more likely they are to Let them expire. Then introduce a bill to give a new tax break to the under-$250,000 income group if you want.