Monday, February 11, 2013

Budget Cutting 1.0

Budget cutting from Diplomad, a man after my own heart. A few years ago, the NYT had an interactive feature to try your hand at cutting the Federal budget. It was their attempt to show 'how difficult it was'. Much like Diplomad, I had it down to a surplus with large tax cuts in very little time at all. It's only difficult if you think the Federal government should be involved in every aspect of your lives, almost none of which functions would remain a going concern if they were private enterprises run so poorly.

Anyhow, sitting about in a ibuprofen/codeine induced haze led me to think, of course, about politics. One should only think about politics these days when the pain is numbed by the products of modern pharmacology or old whisky. Even when under the influence, I cannot bear to hear the news and the pontifications of the pundits. So many opinions, so many solutions for what ails us, when, in fact, any housewife who has ever tried to balance a checkbook knows exactly what is wrong and how to fix it. Stop spending so much! Most certainly, stop spending so much on stupid things!

At the federal level it is obvious what needs doing. Slash and burn. Departments of education, interior, energy, health, labor, commerce, and transportation should be eliminated asap, as should the EPA and USAID. Yes, completely eliminated. The Department of Justice needs to be radically reduced in size and power; eliminate the ATF and DEA, for starters. The FBI has completely overstepped its original mandate and needs to be reined in. The State Department can be cut by one-third almost immediately, and closer to one-half in a couple of years. DOD needs to focus on its mission and shed programs, offices, and employees that have nothing to do with defense. Lawyers. My God, does DoD have lawyers. Slash and burn. Get rid of all the environmental nonsense in DoD. Drop the vast, corrupt, and bloated domestic PX network. In a time of WalMarts and Targets, why have a PX? Negotiate a discount for military personnel. The same with VA hospitals, most of which are substandard; get veterans a voucher system they can use at private hospitals. The CIA? A complete overhaul and reduction in the massive stateside bureaucracy which interferes with and stifles CIA's proper role overseas. NASA? Privatize as much as possible of the space program, keeping in government hands only the most secret and sensitive operations. Don't get me started on Homeland; it needs a radical downsizing or even a splitting apart.

Stop making everything illegal. Get rid of the drug and gun laws, and you will empty a lot of prison cells.

Stop viewing life as a series of problems that needs "solution" by the government.

Not so hard.

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