Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's time to downsize government

Cato, my favorite think tank, recently created five excellent, 3-minute videos which make it very clear why and how we need to downsize the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, and Labor. We could be saving hundreds of billions of dollars a year while making the economy more efficient and increasing everyone's living standards in the process. This is not about eliminating government, it's about scaling back a government that has grown like Topsy for way too long.

We've already made good progress in reducing the size of government over the past four years by freezing spending; what needs to happen next is outright cuts to wasteful and unnecessary programs.

I'm optimistic about the future because, as these videos demonstrate, there are so many things wrong with our government that could be easily fixed.

Check out the videos here.


PerformanceSpeaksForItself said...

Get rid of__________, and___________ happens.
Agriculture: food becomes as safe as in China.
Education: lack of oversight means states like Texas (my state) get to ignore the educational needs of half their citizens.
Energy: who needs nuclear power plant inspectors anyways...
HHS: welfare for the poor? Nah, only the rich need welfare.
Labor: look only to late 19th century America to see what happens when there are no labor standards.

How can conservatives say liberals live in a fantasy world when patently stupid ideas like these are applauded?

PerformanceSpeaksForItself said...

No offense, Scott, lol. I love your blog and am a long - time reader.

Scott Grannis said...

Apparently you did not view the videos, since nowhere do they suggest or even imply the evisceration of the basic roles of these government departments.

Libertarians want limited government, not no government. Libertarians believe we have way too much government now, and a little less would be better for everyone.

Regardless, you would do well to study the proposals that Cato and others have made to deal with your objections. Food inspection is not necessarily best carried out by a federal agency; the federal government is not the only way to have oversight of the education process; labor standards are fine, but what we have now is suffocating. As for welfare, getting rid of welfare for the rich (e.g., most agriculture subsidies) should be a high priority for everyone.

steve said...

PSforI response is typical of liberals. they never seem to even consider alternatives to more government because they are "mean". anyone calling for limited or scaled back spending is cruel. blah, blah, blah. same old rhetoric.

Bulldogs said...

PSFI's knee jerk reaction is interesting because the video series focuses largely on historical absolute comparisons (ag dept. to ag. dept X years ago) vs. relative comparisons. When presented with disagreeable absolute data, PSFI opted for a relative comparison (e.g. China).

The reaction makes me think of William Poundstone's Priceless.

William McKibbin said...

I am a Libertarian -- I vote for 40% cuts in government spending immediately -- I am for a balanced budget amendment -- I am indifferent to the side effects of cuts in government spending, though I believe the cuts will have to be shared by both guns and butter -- empathy for the plight of government is not on my radar...

PerformanceSpeaksForItself said...

My comment is based on an understanding of what it is they're ultimately looking for, and it is a gutting of those and other departments. The videos don't even make sense, railing against department - issued subsidies that are mandated by Congress. If you want to stop the subsidies, you don't scrap the department in charge of distribution, you stop issuing subsidies.
I support reforms to spending, e.g. As Tom Coburn has described, but the CATO Institute is simply laying the ideological groundwork for some gov- lite dystopia.

Benjamin said...

Cato has long advocated cutting military outlays in half. Such savings would be enormous, larger than any other cuts we could make. I do not know what Cato thinks about the 3.7 million vets receiving monthly disability checks courtest of US taxpayers.

Benjamin said...

Want to cut the federal goivernemtn down to size?

I do too.

Here is a list of federal agencies by employees.

Federal Employment By Agency

Defense (civilian) 772,601
Defense (uniformed) 1, 429,995
Defense (reserves) 850,880
VA 304,665
VA (receiving monthly disability) 3,700,000
Homeland Security 183,455
Justice 117,916
Treasury 110,099
USDA 106,867
Interior 70,231
H&HS 69,839
Transportation 57,972
Commerce 56,856
State 39,016
Labor 17,592
HUD 9585
Education 4452

BTW, Paul Ryan says DoD, DHS and the VA are strictly off limits for any cuts.

So, you can score touchdowns any way you like, as long as you do not pass, or run the ball.