Paying off the debt obviously won't happen, and the feds won't even contemplate anything that keeps the debt from getting bigger. They'll just try to inflate the debt away, so get ready for price inflation.
School choice would seem to have benefits, but as Thomas Sowell says: “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” Enthusiastic “school choice” proponents forget that with government money comes government control.
What is different about the US's empire is that it has been fabulously successful. It is so successful, in fact, that the territories that used to be obvious colonies have ceased to have any distinct political identity.