By Alden L. Benton
“The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.”
~Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, 1776
In my last post, I discussed the failure of the so-called super committee and showed that eliminating one government department, and downsizing another, yields $2.4 trillion in savings over the next 10 years; double the super committee goal.
The Cato Institute (cato.org) and Downsizing Government (downsizinggovernment.org) developed recommendations for shrinking the federal government and restoring liberty. In my last post, the recommendation was to downsize the Agriculture Department and eliminate the department of Education.
Again, the way to cut the federal deficit, and thus lower the amount of money we borrow and pay interest upon (the national debt), is to shrink the federal government and keep it within the constraints of the Constitution.
We don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. The federal government collected $2.11 trillion in revenues for fiscal year 2009, but spent $3.2 trillion, running a $1.41 trillion deficit (money we must borrow and pay interest on) for just a single year. Even if spending is limited to that level, the deficit would grow to more than $14 trillion in 10 years.
We must cut up Uncle Sam’s credit card and take away his checkbook. Here are more recommendations from the Cato Institute and Downsizing Government.
Department of Commerce
Downsizing the Department of Commerce saves $2.1 billion annually; $21 billion over 10 years. For the details of this recommendation, go here.
Department of Energy
Eliminating the Department of Energy yields savings of $38.3 billion annually; $383 billion over 10 years. For the details of this recommendation, go here.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The recommendations for downsizing HSS yield savings of $81 billion a year; $810 over 10 years. For the details of this recommendation, go here.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Elimination of HUD saves $62.5 billion per year; $625 billion over 10 years. For the details of this recommendation, go here.
Department of Labor
Downsizing the Department of Labor brings $143 billion annual savings; $1.4 trillion over 10 years. For the details of this recommendation, go here.
Department of Transportation
Annual savings of $84.8 billion are achieved by downsizing the Department of Transportation; $848 billion over 10 years. For the details of this recommendation, go here.
Department of Defense
I have left the Downsizing Government recommendations for the Department of Defense until last. I do not agree with the libertarian philosophy of defense. In an ever-hostile world of many and varied threats we must be proactive, not reactive.
However, I do feel there are rational ways to trim defense costs, primarily in the procurement process. I am including the Downsizing Government recommendations for the Department of Defense for discussion. These recommendations save a total $1.2 trillion for the 10 fiscal years ending with 2020. For the details of this recommendation, go here.
The Downsizing Government recommendations cover only nine government agencies, yet, if followed, they save $ 7,727,610,000,000.00 over 10 years.
The recommendations I have reported here do not address the issue of entitlement reform. Solving that issue is not as easy as applying the principal of Occam’s razor to the structure of the government. Restructuring Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the issues pending with the implementation of ObamaCare are far too complex for this discussion.
However, the unsustainable socialist cradle-to-grave entitlement paradigms in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere around the world, are placing the global financial system at risk.
As the world’s largest economy, we must put our own financial house in order in order, at a minimum, to ensure our own survival amidst the potential chaos.
The United States must remain strong economically and militarily to ensure our safety and political success in a hostile world. Continuing on our current path will weaken and endanger us both as a nation and as a global force for peace and freedom.
We must act now. Congress and the president must stop using the deficit, the national debt, and entitlement reform as political leverage. The ideological impasse is threatening the nation’s future.
The clock is ticking.
Blog content ©2011 Alden L Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
If you want to reuse this material, please follow this link to obtain copyright permission: aldenbenton.icopyright.com