How I Reduced the Deficit by $424B in 30 minutes

Post by: Gregory of Yardale
This is Terrifying:

In the First 100 Days, Chairman Zero Has Exploded Our National Debt

In the First 100 Days, Chairman Zero Has Exploded Our National Debt

This is what people are upset about. Chairman Zero’s deficits are unsustainable and potentially disastrous. He has challenged his cabinet for a measly $100 million in savings. By applying a few common sense rules, I found $424B in savings just by glancing over the budget for 30 minutes and doing a little Googling.

First, the simple rules I applied were this: 1. Anybody can get by on 90% of what they have. 2. In FY2008, the government was already spending plenty, so I could cut budgets by 10% or reset to the 2008 levels, which ever was lower. 3. Everybody takes a cut, even social security recipients and 4. The Stimulus was unnecessary.

Here’s what I cut:

Department of Agriculture: Cancel Stimulus – $27.6 B. 10% Budget cut – $2.6 B. Cancel WIC increase $1B

Department of Commerce: Freeze Spending at FY 2008 Levels. Savings – $5.9 B.

Department of Defense: Close or reduce European military bases. Savings, $7 B

Department of Education: Cancel the Department of Educations Share of the Stimulus – Savings $81 B. Reduce Agency Budget 10% – Savings – $4.7 B

Department of Energy: Close the Department and reassign its duties to other agencies – Savings – $26 B. Cancel DoE’s share of the Stimulus – Savings, $38 B.

Department of HHS: Cancel Stimulus – Savings 22.4B Cut agency 10% – Savings 7.6B. Cancel Head Start Expansion – Savings $2B

Department of Homeland Security: Reduce Budget 5% – Savings $2B

Dept. of Interior: Reduce budget 10% – Savings 1.2 B. Cancel stimulus – Savings $3B

Department of Justice: Cancel Stimulus – Savings $4B. Reduce Budget 10% – Savings $2.6B. End programs that duplicate Department of Homeland Security functions – Savings $1B

Department of State: Reduce FY2010 funding to FY2008 Levels -Savings – $11B. Most of this savings can be achieved by canceling aid programs to countries that hate us.

Department of Transportation: Cancel Stimulus – Savings $48B. End subsidies to Amtrak and mass transit to support 10% reduction in Agency Budget. Savings – $7.2 B

Department of Veterans Affairs: Freeze Spending at FY2008 Levels – Savings – $9.8 B.

EPA: Cancel Stimulus. Savings $7.2 B. Freeze budget at FY2008 level. Savings $3 B.

NASA: Cancel Stimulus Freeze budget at 2008 Level. Savings – $2 B.

National Science Foundation: Cancel Stimulus. Savings $3 B

Social Security. Freeze operating budget at FY2008 Level. Savings $2B. Cut benefits across the board 5%, Savings – $30 B. Eliminate Medicare/Medicaid Fraud. Savings – $60B.

Cancel Community Service Project: Savings $1.2 B

These cuts would reduce the FY2010 deficit by $424 Billion. That would still leave about an $800 Billion deficit. But if I can make the easy cuts in 30 minutes, there must be plenty else out there that can be cut, too. Off the top of my head:

  • Consolidate several cabinet departments.
  • Privatize things the government doesn’t need to be doing, like air traffic control. Canada’s private system works just fine.
  • End subsidies to non-essential agencies like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Move government headquarters out of DC and to lower-cost facilities closer to their areas of interest. Put the headquarters for Immigration and Customs in El Paso. Put Department of Agriculture offices in Iowa City. Consolidate branches.
  • Eliminate foreign aid entirely, and welfare for illegal immigrants.
  • Oh, yeah, and cancel all pork projects and bailouts.

People all over the country are making tough economic choices, and redefining the difference between necessities and luxuries.  Government has so far exempted itself from this reckoning. People should not tolerate that.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “How I Reduced the Deficit by $424B in 30 minutes

  1. Cylar

    This is great and all, but I see one issue.

    I don’t want anything being cut from the DoD. Not in the middle of two shooting wars, with the prospect of more wars starting at any moment. If our forces aren’t needed in the European theaters any longer (and a case can be that they aren’t), then they need to be reassigned someplace else, likely somewhere in the Mideast.

    Also, if the Dept of Energy’s duties were “reassigned” to other agencies, wouldn’t that require a bigger budget at those other agencies?

    I wish you’d suggested closing the Dept of Education instead. On their way out, the employees there can forgive all my outstanding federal student loans. (Why not? If we can afford to bail out delinquent homeowners and inefficient auto companies, why not a college education for a productive member of society?)

    The rest…have at it.

    Trouble is that even Bush didn’t have the backbone to implement the cuts you suggested. To get rid of personnel and programs that we got by just fine without, as recently as five, ten, twenty years ago. Which now, naturally, are all vital to the future and health of this nation.

    I’d love to see less pork in our budget, but those little earmarks are what keep our Congressmen and Senators getting re-elected every season.

  2. vdavisson

    Cylar is right. I’m down with closing the Department of Education. They don’t do anything useful!

  3. Were it up to me, I would eliminate the Department of Education, and replace it with a kind of Think Tank that would develop advisories and curriculum to suggest to schools, but the school system otherwise would be under local control and partially privatized.

    In addition, I think the Departments of Commerce, Labor, Interior, EPA, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Energy, and Health and Human Services can be eliminated/consolidated/reorganized and have their few worthwhile functions kept on in one Department of Economic Security.

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