As anyone who is paying attention should know, the most serious threat to our continued national existence is not terrorism, not drugs, not the possibility of a nuclear attack from some rogue nation, such as North Korea or Iran. Instead, it is the increasing likelihood of national bankruptcy brought on by the insane spending and even more insane growth of government stemming from the actions of our own federal government.
Now we have a (partly) new crop of legislators descending on the national capital with the vague promise to “do something about it”. My first question is, do they really intend to meaningfully reduce government spending and meaningfully reduce the size and reach of a government that now meddles in every aspect of our formerly private lives? Or do they merely want us to think that they are actually going to reduce their own power and access to wealth and privilege while doing nothing of the sort?
Let us start by examining what they are saying. The silliest, yet most serious suggestion to date seems to be the idea of “reducing federal government spending back to 2008 levels”. This reminds me of the guy who told the barber, “just take a little off the top”, knowing full well it would grow back in no time at all.
Does anyone not know that 2008 spending levels were also driving us toward national bankruptcy, even though at a slightly slower rate? What nonsense!
If one were truly serious about reducing the size, scope and cost of the federal government,
would it not make the most sense to begin by totally eliminating ALL departments and agencies of the federal government that are NOT specifically authorized by our Constitution? Departments and agencies that should never have existed to begin with. Not taking a little off the top but making them disappear, never to appear again once constitutional rule has been reestablished.
And, their numbers are legion. Just off the top of my head, I can think of:
1. The Department of Education. Any actual mission assigned to this department clearly belongs to the state and local governments.
2. The Department of Energy. Does anyone doubt that private industry is capable of performing any necessary functions in this area, just as they did during those years when we became to most powerful nation on earth?
3. The Department of Homeland Security. While the notion of protection from threats to our freedom and prosperity is reasonable on the surface, there is no evidence that this department has done anything more than squander dollars while invading our personal privacy.
4. The Federal Reserve. This is a private, for profit bank with almost no accountability or even visibility to the American people. Since it was brought into existence (to protect the big banks, not the citizens), our national currency has lost 95% of its value, we have suffered through depressions and recessions of longer duration than before the creation of the “Fed”, and our national debt has soared out of sight as the Fed has printed fiat currency to cover the government’s insane spending habits and to bail out crony capitalist firms.
5. The Drug Enforcement Administration. The so-called “war on drugs” has acted more as a price support system for illegal drugs than as a serious attempt to reduce demand. In the process, it has helped us take a giant leap toward becoming a police state. Would it not make far more sense to admit that when that many people demand something, they WILL get it, and to turn the manufacture and sale of drugs over to legitimate, regulated, tax paying businesses, just as most states have done with alcohol?
I have no doubt that any one of you could add to my starter list without even straining your imaginations. In addition, there are a number of federal departments/agencies that should have their missions, and their funding, severely curtailed. The three in this category most obvious to me are:
1. The Department of Housing and Urban Development,
2. The Department of Health Education and Welfare,
3. The Department of Agriculture. Together, these departments operate most of the social welfare system.
Again, anyone of you can think of additional departments and agencies that should suffer severe cuts.
Note that one department I did not list is the Department of Defense. I omitted it simply because its mission IS authorized by our Constitution. Having said that, there are still opportunities for significant savings while still maintaining a robust defense, for instance removing items from the defense budget that are put there by Congress to reward their cronies and are not wanted by the military. One thing that, in my opinion, clearly needs to be changed is that we should never again send our military into action without a clear declaration of war, passed by the Congress as specified by our Constitution, and, never again without putting the entire nation on a war footing. If there is a war that we really need to fight to defend ourselves, the pain and dislocations should be shared by all. If we are just playing at war for any number of bogus reasons, then we must stop it.
Troy L Robinson