Cutting the Federal Government down to Size

Everyone has a plan to cut the government down to size, reduce the deficit —  and harder, much harder — eliminate the national debt.  Here’s mine. It’s simple, short and sweet.

Pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and hand it off to the states for ratification. Anyone who fails to vote for this amendment is a moron and has no business serving in Congress. These people must be booted out of office, no ifs ands or buts. Individuals and families must live within their means and balance their budgets. Many states operate under balanced budget amendments. The necessary cuts must be made at the federal level until a balanced budget is reached. It’s the very least a citizen should expect of his or her elected representatives.

Pass a law that ties congressional pay to a balanced budget. Anyone who fails to vote for such a law is a coward and should be sent home at the first available opportunity. The federal budget is the primary job of Congress. If Congress fails to complete a balanced budget by the end of the fiscal year, the individual members must forfeit their salaries and return all money received for that year.

All federal budgets must contain a reasonable emergency fund. Emergencies happen each and every year. They are a fact of life. If that fund is exhausted, Congress must take the money from another portion of the budget before funding an emergency. If Congress cannot agree, then the cuts must be made evenly, across-the-board. Congresses routinely use emergency spending to mask the true amount of the federal budget. This must stop!

All entitlements, with the exception of those which are funded by individual contributions, should be eliminated and the line items may be included (or eliminated) as part of the discretionary budget which is subject to an annual give and take. Most citizens are unaware that an entitlement can be anything a lawmaker chooses to wall off and put on automatic pilot. There are thousands of unnecessary entitlements that have been walled off in this manner. This must be reversed.

The legitimate, taxpayer-funded entitlements that remain must be adjusted so the payouts do not exceed revenues.

Eliminate earmarks permanently. Lawmakers argue that earmarks are a relatively small portion of the federal budget. However, these earmarks are used to grease the skids for tons of unnecessary spending and are an added burden to the federal agencies on which they are imposed. This process must be stopped. Budgets should be lean and specific. Bids for items in the federal budget must be conducted by impartial federal employees who operate under strict guidelines and cannot be swayed by lobbyists seeking favors.

Rotate members of the House and Senate appropriations committees every two years. It is no accident that the appropriators turn out to be the biggest spenders.

Cut all the committees down to size. The largest committees in Congress, like Appropriations, Transportation and Armed Services are responsible for the lion’s share of the wasteful spending. Most members are given three to five committee assignments. The more committee assignments, the more opportunities to spend. Most committee members don’t bother showing up to hear testimony. Testifying before Congress has become a joke. You testify before empty chairs. Give each member only one committee assignment and expect members to take their jobs seriously. That will give all the members more time to read bills before they are passed.

End the “old boy network”- the practice of giving committee chairmanships to the longest serving member. Committee chairmanships should be earned.

Is it Constitutional? That is a question that must be asked before a dime can be spent on a federal program or federal agency. Eliminating the Federal Department of Education would be a no-brainer. The Federal Department of Education has no constitutional authority. Our founders wisely left matters of education to the individual states. All the Federal Department of Education can do is “suggest” and spend tax dollars. It didn’t exist until 1979. Get rid of it!

Another Federal agency that should be eliminated is the Department of Agriculture. Today, we have more people working in the computer industry than we do on farms. There is no shortage of food. However, we are still handing out depression era farm subsidies, most of which go to wealthy land owners.

Eliminate all government grants. It is unfair to taxpayers for the government to pick winners and losers in business. Government grants to charities and nonprofits also are counterproductive.

These suggestions are broad-brushed to be sure. Maybe I’m dreaming but I’m dreaming of a Congress that works for, not against, the people who pay the bills.

4 thoughts on “Cutting the Federal Government down to Size

  1. I agree with you, Jane. When I was a child going to school, every year we went to our homeroom to learn what subjects we were going to be taught that year. We then went to a private book store to buy our books.

    With Jimmy Carter in office, he decided all children of the nation should study the same subjects each year. One of the first things that did was put the book store owners out of business because the government started furnishing the books.

    The government seems to be getting larger, employee wise, each year.

    I feel like they want to replace the old Sears-Roebuck catalog for the ‘outhouse’ with our Constitution.

    I’m afraid today, we are just around the corner from socialism and not too far down the road from communism.

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  2. With the magnitude of fraud, waste, and abuse in Federal government, I propose a simple Federal employment competency test:

    Ask each Federal employee for whom they work.

    If the Federal employee responds with anything other than “the US taxpayer”, summarily fire him/her/it.

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  3. Eliminate non-mission-oriented positions.

    Inside the Beltway, Federal Agencies have buildings full of employees overmanning positions and performing no mission-oriented tasks. Outside the Beltway, Federal Agencies’ employees perform mission-oriented tasks with great skill and professionalism and undermanning.

    I propose slashing the manning of DC-based Federal employees with the simple question: how does your personal job support your Federal agency’s overall
    mission? For example, the Air Force mission is to organize, train, and equip Air Forces for the conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations in the air. So, you go to the Air Force departments around DC and ask each individual what they have done to support the mission, today? “The mission is bombs on target. What do you do to get bombs on target, today?” If they do not directly support the mission, fire them.

    Willie

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  4. You will never, EVER, have limited Constitutional government as long as
    government has its phony, fraudulent, dishonest, fiat, UNLIMITED ATM
    machine, the Federal (ha!) Reserve syNDICATE! BOTH Democrats and Republicans never bring up/discuss this most critical issue. Why? Because they get to tax the people surreptitiously by devaluing/stealing their money/savings wealth by inflating the money supply Thus they don’t have to answer to the voters for their spendthrift ways. Whether it is socialism, communism or fascism, mega-governments require this fiat/phony money system to expand government as much as possible without the populace getting wise to what is going on. The banksters profit enormously as well from this theft so they are not going to tell the truth either. Politicians (with the noted exception of Ron Paul and his new book “End the Fed”) and their voters have become so accustomed to mega-government and mega taxation that very few even question the fundamentals of this system. But now their greed has abused economic fundamentals so severely that our country is in mortal danger from economic collapse. Can’t happen here? Look at history! So people, what do you want – continuation of the biggest damn government in the history of the planet? Or do you want limited, Constitutional government with honest money and your own freedom, integrity, and self reliance/response-ABILITY back? Choose soon for history will not wait… Tom in S. Oregon

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