Just how much money is being spent by the federal government that is wasted on duplicate services, duplicate efforts that states have already covered, or just plain wasting money on projects that continue to place a huge burden on our nation’s security?
How much? Well of the $3.8 trillion budget proposed by the Office of Management and Budget, $851 billion is designated for defense spending. A measly $820 billion is slated for Social Security programs. However, in that non-defense budget, one must understand that Homeland Security is given $68.9 billion and Transportation Security Administration gets $8.1 billion.
It would be easy to blame one political party or the other for growing government to such extremes that we eventually experience European-type insolvency unless we demand our leaders get a handle on spending.
We’ve been told by the two main political parties in this country that Social Security is solvent well into the 21st Century. Balderdash! All the Social Security Trust Fund has are I.O.U. promissory notes. All of the cash has been pilfered by earlier Congressional and administrations to prop up the overall government spending.
What’s the solution? First, cut spending.
Cut the Department of Education, a cabinet position created by James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr., a Democrat, which spends $69.9 billion a year to duplicate the services already provided by the states. One-tenth of those dollars could be given to states to support local efforts to improve education.
Second, do we really need a Department of Homeland security? We’re spending $68.9 billion a year on this agency that swallowed up other government entities, including the U.S. Coast Guard. This cabinet position was created by George Walker Bush, a Republican, and does not include the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Central Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency or any other rogue entity sworn to protect us from enemies foreign and/or domestic.
Republican Bush also created the Transportation Security Agency (the agency that gropes women and little children in airports) and that entity spends $8.1 billion a year to totally alienate frequent flyers.
There is a host of other agencies that could and should be eliminated, such as Agriculture (states that rely heavily on agribusiness are duplicating services and sending governors to China, Russia and other consuming nations around the world). Is the Department of Commerce really necessary?
I nearly forgot to mention the other agency that has literally cost our nation trillions of dollars with over regulation and interference in the free market: Environmental Protection Agency which was created by Republican Richard Milhous Nixon in 1970. The EPA employs approximately 17,000 people and is budgeted to spend $8.4 billion in 2013.
Now to the sticky issue of curbing the cost of Social Security, Medicare (parts A-D), Medicaid, and welfare. No politician wants to come within a football field-length of proposing cuts. However, in order for the United States to avoid a Greek-style financial meltdown, we must look at cutting costs and services. To ignore these agencies when cutting overall spending is to delay disaster.
I’ve talked about a few cuts in spending. Now comes the part about raising funds to eventually cut our deficit and the debt that is approaching $100 trillion when all — Social Security, Medicare and Defense — are factored into what we’ve spent beyond our income.
We must allow the Bush Tax Cuts to sunset. I know, Republicans are screaming bloody murder at that thought. However, when one takes an objective look at what we’ve been asked to do since the Bush Tax Cuts — fight two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan), support the addition of two new costly federal agencies (Homeland Security and TSA), and add a health care program that will bankrupt Medicare and the nation, it’s time to get real. If I didn’t know better I would conclude that the younger Bush was a liberal Democrat.
It’s apparent that the Republican Party is as liberal as the Democrat Party when it comes to growing the size of the federal government and spending the money folks in fly-over country send to Washington. Each party’s leadership has saddled our nation with agencies that are now causing us to face enormous debt on top of annual deficit spending.
What’s the solution? Each citizen of this great nation must send a resounding message to all of those candidates wishing to “serve us” in Washington that the gig is up and we demand governmental cuts across the board, a balanced budget amendment and quit the finger pointing. We’re onto the professional politicians and their political pandering.
Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation, Homeland Security, Office Of Management and Budget, C-SPAN, Social Security Administration.