How to cut $600+ billion from the budget

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by AbsoluteVoluntarist, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. AbsoluteVoluntarist

    AbsoluteVoluntarist New Member

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    Here are some suggestions on how to cut over $600 billion from the, immediately halving the deficit:

    DOD, State Department, and other overseas spending
    1. First, have a non-interventionist foreign policy. End all the wars ($160 billion) and close all the overseas bases ($40 billion). That's $200 billion saved.

    2. Once you did that, you can easily reduce the number of active soldiers by 1/3. That's another $38 billion saved.

    3. They also wouldn't need to throw so much money into procuring whiz-bang gadgetry, such as the F-35, the Virginia class submarine, the V-22, and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Cutting all of those is another $20 billion saved.

    4. We could also live without so much Pentagon R&D of even more whiz-bang gadgetry. That's currently about $79 billion. Let's cut that by about a third: $25 billion saved.

    5. "Intelligence" should only be just that: gathering intelligence. No secret prisons, spying on citizens, etc. Consolidate the DOD intelligence agencies into one and cut its $50 billion budget by 2/3rds. $20 billion is plenty given a much narrowed scope of activities. $30 billion saved.

    6. End all foreign aid. That's $48 billion saved.

    7. Pull the US out of the UN and NATO and stop giving them money: $7 billion saved.

    8. With a foreign policy of non-interventionism, there will be far less need for diplomatic intrigue. So cut spending on embassies by half: $6 billion saved.


    DHS and DOJ
    9. Privatize airline security and abolish the invasive police-state apparatus of the TSA. $6 billion saved.

    10. States and localities should deal with their own emergencies. Cut FEMA in half (abolish it eventually). $4 billion saved.

    11. If they liberalized the immigration laws, ended the international drug war, prohibited illegal immigrants from using welfare, and had complete free trade there would be less illegal immigration and less smuggling. Do all that and cut border, immigration, and customs enforcement by 1/3. $5 billion saved.

    12. Also, ending border policing of drugs and needless border fence building would mean $1 billion saved.

    13. Abolish the DEA and the ATF, both of which focus on enforcing the unjust criminalization of victimless crimes. $3 billion saved.

    14. Combine the FBI and the US Marshals. Stop having them enforce laws against victimless crimes or crimes that state/local governments should handle, and cut their combined budget by 1/4. $2 billion saved.

    15. Free all those in federal prison for victimless crimes. Put the rest to work. Assuming each one earns a mere $10000 a year, it would be enough to fully fund federal prison system. $7 billion saved.


    Treasury, Commerce, and Labor Departments
    16. Refundable tax credits are sneaky forms of welfare masquerading as tax cuts. Reduce about 1/10th of the current welfare spending. Make them non-refundable in the future when the economy recovers. $5 billion saved.

    17. I'm sure the world wouldn't spin off its axis if they cut the IRS budget by 1/10th and also abolished the FINCEN snoop patrol. $1 billion saved.

    18. $7.4 billion for the Census Bureau? It's only function should be to do a headcount once every ten years. Cut the vast bulk of it. $7 billion saved.

    19. The NOAA is a weather research outfit. Science research may be nice, but it's politicized when government does it and it wouldn't put anyone out on the street to cut it. Reduce by 1/3rd. $2 billion saved.

    20. Also, abolish the protectionist ITA and the pork-barrel EDA. $1 billion saved.

    21. Washington shouldn't be in the business of finding people jobs, so cut the Job Corps and other training and employment programs. Surely OSHA could also be cut by 1/10, even if you think DC bureaucrats are the best bunch to be designing workplace safety rules. $6 billion saved.


    HHS and Education Departments
    22. The National Institutes of Health spend $32 billion a year for scientific research. Again, the sun won't fall if the US government stops giving scientists grants. Cut the NIH in half. The FDA, meanwhile, spends its time stifling medical research by keeping drugs off the market, even for people who want to take them and accept the risk. Cut by 1/4. $17 billion saved.

    23. How many times does the CDC need to gin up phony pandemic scares before we realize this outfit has no idea what it's doing? Abolish it. $6 billion saved.

    24. The Indian Health Service. Let the Indians take care of themselves as sovereign peoples and abolish it. $4 billion saved.

    25. HRSA and SAMHSA are welfare agencies that people may be dependent on. Only cut 1/10th, but more in the future when the economy improves. Abolish the redundant Administration on Aging. $3 billion saved.

    26. Everyone loves the Department of Ed because it has the word "education" in the title, and that's nice, right? It's mainly just grants: money shoveled from taxpayers into other peoples' pockets. The other thing it does is enforce harebrained "standards" like NCLB. Yet for all this, there hasn't been one iota of discernible improvement. Fulfill Reagan's promise by abolishing it. $50 billion saved.


    DOT and HUD
    27. Abolish the Federal Transit Authority, which just funnels money to local governments. $11 billion saved

    28. Privatize Amtrak and abolish the Federal Railroad Administration. $3 billion saved.

    29. The Federal Highway Administration also shovels lots of money to lower-level governments. State and local authorities should take care of their own needs. Cut this by 1/4th. $10 billion saved.

    30. The FAA is also part of this racket, giving billions to local airports, as though local governments (never mind the private marketplace) can't figure that out. Cut this by 1/4th too. $4 billion saved.

    31. As is all that weren't enough, Obama has decided we just need yet another $4 billion "invested" in transportation goodness knows were. So much for that. $4 billion saved.

    32. As for Housing and Urban Development, this is also filled with pork to states, including something like $4 billion in so-called Community Development Block Grants. Abolish it. $4 billion saved.

    33. Then there is "rental assistance" under Section 8, more forced charity. Reduce by 1/10th. $3 billion saved.

    34. Public housing should be done on the local level, if it should be done at all. Give federal housing properties to the states and let them deal with that. $7 billion saved.


    Ag and Interior
    35. Abolish pork-barrel "rural development" programs and NIFA (another welfare-for-scientists agency). Halve the FSA, a funnel for farm subsidies. And cut most of the ARS, another "research" outfit. $9 billion saved.

    36. The Forest Service chronically mismanages its hundreds of millions of acres of land. Sell half the land (or, at the very least, give it to the states) a and then halve the Service. $2 billion saved.

    37. Food stamps, another charity program. Reduce this by 1/10th. $1 billion saved.

    37. Abolish the antiquated US Geological Survey and Bureau of Indian Affairs. Also abolish the Bureau of Reclamation and the Fish and Wildlife Service (the states can do that stuff too, if you think government should be involved at all). $7 billion saved.

    38. As with the forests, sell half the public lands and reduce the Bureau of Land Management. $1 billion saved.

    39. Selling half the government's lands might net about $200 billion, which could be used to retire a small portion of the national debt, which would save about $3 billion it yearly interest on it. $3 billion saved.


    DOE, NASA, NSF, EPA
    40. Other than the managing Washington's 5000 nukes practically nothing the Energy Department does can't be abolished outright. It's mainly for civilian research projects. The market can do that. $11 billion saved.

    41. NASA one of America's most beloved bureaucracies, thanks to the moon landing and Hollywood. Nonetheless, private enterprise should take over space exploration. Put it to bed with the space shuttle. $19 billion saved.

    42. The National Science Foundation. A whole independent agency for welfare-for-scientists. Private companies and nonprofits can fund whatever needs to be funded. Abolish it. $7 billion saved.

    43. As for the EPA, at least get rid of the programs that constitute money funneled to state and local governments or "green research." $5 billion saved.


    Other Agencies
    44. End the government's monopoly on first class mail and privatize the Post Office. $4 billion saved.

    45. Other smaller agencies that could be privatized or abolished include: the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Smithsonian Institute, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the General Services Administration, the Public Broadcasting Corporation, the FCC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, the National Endowments for Arts and Humanities, the Export-Import Bank, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the US Institute of Peace. $7 billion saved.

    46. Would anyone weep if we simply slashed 10% from Congress' budget and the Executive Office of the President and let them figure out where to make the savings? I doubt it. $1 billion saved.


    Total savings come to: $617 billion :sun:
     
  2. daUSSNIPA

    daUSSNIPA New Member

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    Step One:
    Come home from Afghanistan last year....

    done and done.
     
  3. daUSSNIPA

    daUSSNIPA New Member

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    Nice signature. North american countries are the most aggressive in nearly all aspects.
     
  4. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    I agree with almost all foreign policy cuts. I would keep the Pentagon R&D though. We are 20 years ahead of every other country militarily speaking. If we stay out of the stupid wars like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, we won't need the F-22's and can then start investing in really cool stuff like electromagnetic rail guns, scramjets, invisibility, bullets that can change direction midflight, and unmanned fighters that are more maneuverable than an f-22. This will put us 50 years ahead of all other countries while cutting back the budget and maintaining good defenses at the same time.
    DHS and DOJ: Privatizing it or localizing it isn't going to save any money. If the federal government doesn't pay for it, someone else will have to. I do agree airport security should be severely cut back. I agree with points 11, 12, and 15. I disagree about the victimless crimes. If they break the law, they should go to jail even if it is only hurting themselves.
    Treasury, commerce, and labor: 16-21: all of those things should be cut back, but probably not as much as you are suggesting.

    HHS and education: 22. Keep it the same, may be able to cut a billion or so, but definitely not 14 billion.
    23, 24, 25. Can be cut back slightly.
    26. If the money is spent in the right places, I'm okay with spending that much. A lot of the money goes to already overpaid teachers, or schools who have laptops but don't use them correctly. We need to use that money to get higher quality teachers or more good teachers. Also, we could use it for better equipment for learning.

    DOT and Hud: 27, 28, 29, 30: There's no money really being saved here unless smaller organizations can run these better, which isn't proven that they can. 31. Knowing Obama, it is probably wasted. I wouldn't mind 4 billion dollars for transportation if it went to things like evacuated tunnel maglevs, scramjets, better capacitors for electric cars, and some type of nuclear transportation. 27-34 can all be cut back, but it is not necessarily going to save money having these things on the local level.

    Ag and interior: There are probably some things that can be cut back. I really don't know how much money they spend or how well they manage things, so can't say much for any of these.

    DOE, NASA, NSF, EPA: 40. Disagree. Department of Energy can be more efficient if money is going to right places. If we researched liquid fluoride thorium reactors and did a complete overhaul of our energy infrastructure, I think this budget needs to go up.
    41. Completely disagree. Whatever Nasa is doing with Muslims, weather, and education needs to stop. Otherwise, I think we should increase the budget to make better rockets and better rocket technology. We should invest money in building a nuclear rocket that can take us to Mars and asteroids in much less time. Low earth orbit can be taken over by cheaper scramjets that can either be funded by Nasa or private industry, it doesn't really matter.
    42. Completely disagree again. Government is needed to research things that won't help us until the long term. Businesses are only interested in short term profit. There is a lot of stupid things they fund that can be cut, but otherwise the budget should be at least 10 times higher that it currently is.
    43. Completely agree. All green investments by government and most by private industry should end. Green technology is a total waste that is only taking us backwards.
    44. Privatizing isn't going to save any money and I think it would lead to more inefficiency which would lead to higher overall costs.
    45. Kind of a toss up there. I would say you could save 5 billion instead of 7 billion.
    46. Disagree here. Congress and the president should have the most important jobs in the country, so should be paid well.

    I'm glad you made a thread like this. It looks like you put a lot of time into it and I appreciate that. It looks like we could cut at least $500 billion pretty easily from the national budget without missing out on too much.
     
  5. akphidelt

    akphidelt Banned

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    Why do you want to cut more jobs?
     
  6. Hjalmar Thorsson

    Hjalmar Thorsson Banned

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    You had me at:

     
  7. AbsoluteVoluntarist

    AbsoluteVoluntarist New Member

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    Thank you for the compliment and detailed response.

    On shifting things to the state/private market, I was talking specifically about reducing federal spending. I admit that state and local governments would take some of this over, which would raise there spending. However, I think there would be net savings because more localized government has a better handle what's going on "on the ground" and so would be relatively (I stress relatively) less inefficient at spending money. Also there is more competition between local governments, as people "vote with their feet." The same goes for things like education: when done on a local level there is more competition and parents have more control over how the schools are run. As for privatization, the marketplace tends to be more efficient because of more competition and because firms have to produce services that consumers demand.

    On scientific research, my concern is that government funding tends to politicize it (along with the rest of academia). Government funds the science it wants to find, like this "green" stuff you mention. Politics distorts the marketplace of ideas. For-profit firms might not fund some "pure science" type research, but nonprofits organizations, like universities and foundations, could fund a great deal of it.
     
  8. AbsoluteVoluntarist

    AbsoluteVoluntarist New Member

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    Because those jobs aren't the most productive use of the resources invested in them. They just draw wealth from elsewhere in the economy, redistributing it in a less efficient manner.
     
  9. GiveUsLibertyin2012

    GiveUsLibertyin2012 New Member

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    first thing



    GET

    RID

    OF


    OBAMACARE!

    instant $800billion right there!!
     
  10. Poli-Dude

    Poli-Dude New Member

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    Just to point out you would make the unemployment rate fly up.....
     
  11. SiliconMagician

    SiliconMagician Banned

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    America is not an island.. it's not a fortress whose walls we can retreat behind, stick our heads in the sand, and pretend everything will just be okay. If your foriegn policy was enacted, entire swathes of the globe would fall into unrest and major region wide warfare at some point in the future.

    The future of the entire Western Economy resides having free access to expanding labor markets and natural resources! We cannot live without them!

    Wal-mart can't exist in an unstable globe can it? Without wal-mart tens of millions of Americans would see their quality of life reduced to 3rd world status almost over night.

    Corps like Wal-mart raise the quality of life of the poor by making consumer goods affordable that otherwise wouldn't be were there not a globalized economy! You would cut millions of poor people out of the consumer economy?
     
  12. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    exactly.........
     
  13. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    The world would probably be more stable if we stayed out of their problems. Also, I have a solution for instability. The U.S. could just take over large parts of the world.
     
  14. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    It wouldn't matter if those jobs aren't doing anything useful in the first place. Pretty much half of our jobs are just redistributing wealth. If we got rid of most of those, we could make the same amount of money, but be working half the time. Sometimes, unemployment is a good thing. It could mean that things are getting more efficient, so that there is no need for more jobs.
     
  15. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    I hate the stupid political debates about this. It doesn't matter how "big" the federal government is as long as they are spending money in the right places. There are a lot of things the federal government should cut, some that should stay the same, and some that should be increased. The federal government should not just cut everything. They need to know what to cut. Science, technology, and research is one place that should not be cut.
     
  16. Someone

    Someone New Member

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    You'd lose about that much in tax revenue and twice that in GDP.
     
  17. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    no you wouldn't
     
  18. AbsoluteVoluntarist

    AbsoluteVoluntarist New Member

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    I detest protectionism, but using gunboat diplomacy for force markets upon is not only immoral, it's reckless and it's unsustainable. It requires the investment of trillions of dollars the American economy doesn't have, destablizes entire regions, hinders progress, creates animosity against the United States, and impoverishes economies overseas (which only makes the whole world poorer). None of that helps the American economy.

    The US government has neither the authority nor the ability to police the world, and it's responsible for much of the region-wide warfare here in the present.
     
  19. AbsoluteVoluntarist

    AbsoluteVoluntarist New Member

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    That's like an extortionist's argument. "Keep giving us money or the economy will collapse."

    As I already said, investing resources in unproductive areas only makes us all poorer. One of the big reasons they need to cut spending is to free up the labor, capital, and capital goods locked up in them so that they can be invested in more productive areas of the economy.
     
  20. Slant Eyed Pirate

    Slant Eyed Pirate New Member

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    When US Dollar collapse, your gasoline becomes $20- $100/ gallon, lets see how the gov't funds new military projects.

    My prediction, USA becomes like former USSR, all the military toys becomes moot, because the people can't even make a living to support themselves.
    Its already happening, Tent Cities in Texas, California. Big long lines of former "Middle Class" looking for jobs.
     
  21. Slant Eyed Pirate

    Slant Eyed Pirate New Member

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    Walmart doesn't do sh!t except move money around. The Chinese don't have to export, they can keep those goods at home for the benefit of the hundreds of millions people there still living below standard.
    And the Chinese, no matter how low their status, will most likely still have a job, building the infrastructure of China.
     
  22. Taxcutter

    Taxcutter New Member

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    Addressing them one by one

    Item #1
    Fine. Get out of Afghanistan and Iraq except for pre-positioned garrisons. Get out of the Balkans. My understanding is that US bases in Japan and South Korean are subsidized by the host countries, so leave them be. Most overseas US bases are no more than “lily pads” with caretaker maintenance only and an agreement with the host country. Leave those alone. Probably good for $150 billion per year.

    Item #2
    Reduce troops by 20% Good for $27 billion.

    Item #3
    Bad idea. Never lose your technological edge.

    Item #4
    Same as Item #3.

    Item #5
    Unless you are willing to abandon the current “law enforcement” paradigm of warmaking this is outright foolishness.

    Item #6
    Agreed.

    Item #7
    Agreed.

    Item #8
    Agreed.

    Item #9
    Agreed.

    Item #10
    Agreed.

    Item #11
    Opposed. When the ship is taking on water the first thing you do is plug the hole. One of the first duties of a sovereign nation is to control its borders. I would advocate money saved in Item #2 above to bolstering the Border Patrol and ICE. I would also advocate not given the caught illegals a bus ride to TJ, but (like Ike did) put them on a gator freighter to a beach in their home country as far as possible from the US and let them walk back and try again.

    When it comes to drugs, maybe pot could be revisited but cocaine (and crack) and heroin are simply not politically defensible.

    Item #12
    See Item #11.


    Item #13
    Abolish ATF. Attenuate DEA by at least 75%.


    Item #14
    Agreed, more or less.


    Item #15
    If in on pot violations only I agree, but few druggies can keep it just to pot. Cocaine, crack, and heroin violations – disagree.

    Item #16
    Agreed except I’d cut welfare spending much more aggressively, say by 50%. Dependency is counter-productive.

    Item #17
    Agreed.

    Item #18
    Agreed. At very least half.

    Item #19
    Sad but true. NOAA and NASA have become politicized by the evil AGW thing. The Republic got along just fine without them before and can do so again.

    Item #20
    Agreed.


    Item #21
    Agreed. Don’t forget to cut AmeriCorps to zero.


    Item #22
    Agreed, and maybe more. The FDA needs massive reform or else we eliminate it.

    Item #23
    Agreed.

    Item #24
    Agreed.

    Item #25
    Agreed, but I would advocate even deeper, sooner cuts.

    Item #26
    Absolutely agreed. Eliminate Department of Education lock, stock, and barrel, including all measures it administers.

    Item #27
    Agreed.

    Item #28
    Agreed.


    Item #29
    Agreed. We also need to revisit federal regulations on repaving methods.

    Item #30
    Agreed. Reduce FAA to running air traffic control and nothing else.

    Item #31
    Absolutely agreed

    Item #32
    Agreed.

    Item #33
    Completely agreed. Eliminating this pulls the rug from under illegal aliens and multi-generational welfare moochers. Slum lords can collect their own rent.

    Item #34
    Agreed.

    Item #35
    Agreed, but get aggressive. Cut this by 90%


    Item #36
    Go farther. Peel off land needed by military and pad out “crown jewel” national parks and then deed every square inch of what’s left back to the states to do with as they see fit. Eliminate Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

    Item #37
    Agreed but reduce by 75%.

    Item #38
    Get rid of all of it.

    Item #39
    Nah! Give it back to the states on which it sits. Sell off unneeded urban buildings.

    Item #40
    Send the nuclear weapons program back to the DoD, and eliminate all of the Department of Energy. It was founded as a framework for rationing. Flush it.

    Item #41
    It has lost its way and has been hijacked by the AGW crowd. Eliminate NASA completely.

    Item #42
    Agreed. Eliminate completely.

    Item #43
    Eliminate all EPA research. It is politicized and corrupted. Revisit all environmental legislation and regulations with an eye to real environmental protection and elimination of bureaucratic red tape. Repeal 1977 and 1990 amendments to Clean Air Act and void out all regs promulgated pursuat to those amendments. At all hazard eliminate New Source Review.


    Item #44
    Agreed.

    Item #45
    Agreed.

    Item #46
    Agreed.


    All this is a good start. I’m sure there are more stones to be overturned.

    Once all the underbrush is cut away, all that is left are the gargantuan entitlements. With everything else cut away, their political support will erode.
     
  23. Taxcutter

    Taxcutter New Member

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    Yeah, there will be some temporary unemployment increase, but as the dead hand of government is lifted, the private sector will take up the slack.
     
  24. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous Well-Known Member

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    Ron Paul wants to cut $1 trillion in his first year :nana:
     
  25. ELOrocks17

    ELOrocks17 New Member

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    How to cut $600 billion from the budget? Tell Giggles the Prez to limit his vacations to only 10 per year
     

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