Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spending Cuts 101

Recent news reports tell us that some conservative members in the new congress want to cut domestic spending far more sharply even than their own Republican leaders have promised, prompting their Democratic peers to complain bitterly that such cuts would practically eviscerate government.  

Supposing the proposed cuts were actually implemented (fat chance); Big Brother would lose, among other solidly entrenched federal police employees, 4,000 FBI agents; 1,500 Drug Enforcement Agency thugs; 900 federal marshals; and 5,700 prison guards. Furthermore, Pell grants for poor students would be slashed by an average of $1,000 each; Head Start early childhood education programs would leave behind 389,000 kids; and 3,000 food safety inspectors jobs would be scrapped, say the Democrats.

My goodness, is that all?

If these so-called conservative Republican guys were truly serious, we could eliminate our enormous national debt in a heartbeat. If we simply eliminated all the rampant waste and fraud in domestic government spending, the entire federal budget deficit would disappear overnight. 

Why not cut by at least 10% or more the funding from every federal government branch, department, agency, administration, office, program, commission, and bureau? We could even eliminate some of them altogether, including such monstrosities as the Department of Homeland Security, and its dreaded TSA; the Departments of Education, Labor, Transportation, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, to name just a few of the most deserving.  

Let’s mothball NASA and all its grandiose space cadet programs, and end a few more of the most wasteful government schemes, like the National Endowment for the Arts, faith based giveaway social programs, farm subsidies, corporate bailouts, and student loans.

We should cut out and heave over the side of our great ship of state, all congressional earmarks and pork barrel projects from every piece of legislation, old and new, reduce congressional expenses and staffing by 50%, and make serving as a senator or representative in congress a part-time job. They should meet once a year for maybe a month or two to conduct official business and spend the rest of their elected time in their home districts selling used cars or doing whatever else they did before taking office, with no travel in-between.

The president should cut back hard on all White House expenses, especially his travel budget by at least 50%, so he can actually work at his oval office more often, perhaps thinking of more good ways to trim the fat out of the nation’s morbidly obese federal budget. No more unnecessary foreign excursions, expensive first family vacations to Spain, lavish presidential state dinners, black tie and tails entertainment extravaganzas, trendy Hollywood style White House parties, and crisscrossing the country excessively on Air Force One. No more imperial presidency.

While we’re at it on the domestic front, we should sell at least half of our vast government owned lands to private developers; lease a few or all of the National Parks and monuments to private profit oriented administrators; privatize the post office and the nation’s interstate highways; close a few dozen federal prisons; privatize the rest; and eliminate prison altogether as a penalty for all but the most violent criminals and hard cases.

Why should we be feeding, housing, and babysitting 24/7 petty pilferers, pot smokers, crack heads, and flimflam artists for years on end when we know they are going to get out eventually anyway? Miscreants who don’t pose a serious risk of harm to themselves or others need not be warehoused in cages and turned into hardened predators. Other far less expensive and more effective methods to deal with minor offenders and nonviolent criminals are available for the purpose of fair punishment and rehabilitation.

But why stop there with only domestic spending cuts? Why not cut the massive lard bucket out of our national defense (some might call it offense) spending too? The Department of Defense and Pentagon have bloated almost beyond recognition in recent decades. We could eliminate half or more of all the hundreds of U.S. military bases around the world and few people would even notice, aside from all the fat cats who benefit by the waste, of course.

We could reign in our huge military industrial complex; dismantle and recycle at least half or more of our ICBM’s; cut drastically our enormous arsenal of nukes, conventional weapons, military equipment, hardware, tanks, war ships, and aircraft; get out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and stop meddling militarily in the Middle East; reduce the numbers of armed services personnel by half; eliminate most foreign aid; and cease all future futile efforts to police the world.  

These few modest suggestions barely scratch the surface of all that can and should be done to cut the GDP percentage of government spending permanently down to reasonable pre WWII levels, while still preserving traditional safety nets for the poor, necessary entitlement programs for the elderly, and disadvantaged. Yes, we can keep Social Security and Medicare for those who have paid in, while phasing out gradually and privatizing it for those who have not. We have room for some responsibly administered welfare in the U.S.A. No one has to freeze or starve.

We should go back to the governmental basics of serving and protecting our once free country. As responsible individuals, we might once again enjoy the precious benefits of peace, prosperity, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness our founders intended for us.

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