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Truth versus the politics of Washington

By J.J. Jackson
web posted August 1, 2011

Who has the answer to the freewheeling, high spending ways of Washington?  Is it Rep. Paul Ryan?  Nope.  Is it Speaker John Boehner?  Nope.  Is it Harry Reid?  Please!  Don't make me laugh!  Is it President Obama?  Come on, you are not even using the brains God gave a turnip if you suggest such.

None of the major players in this dog and pony show over the national debt and government spending have the answer.  Their so-called solutions all add trillions of dollars to the national debt over the coming years.  For the most part their plans only cut future spending, not current spending.  On top of that they assume pie in the sky revenue projections ten years out to make their plans look like they might be somewhat serious.

But I can give you a real plan.  It is a plan that the Republican led House would reject.  It is a plan that the Democratic led Senate would never even allow to be voted on.  And it is a plan that President Obama would run over little old ladies and overturn baby strollers to veto.

But it is a plan that would limit spending to not more than we bring in; currently approximately $2.6 trillion each year.

Ready?

The following programs, departments and boondoggles get cut 100% from their 2011 funding at the federal level:

  • Consumer Research and Occupational Health and Safety
  • Health Research And Training
  • Medical Services
  • Elementary, Secondary, Vocational and Higher Education
  • "General Science" and "Basic Research"
  • Research and General Education Grants
  • Training and Unemployment Services
  • "Other" Labor Services
  • Social Services
  • International Security Assistance
  • International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
  • Food and Nutritional Assistance
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Housing Assistance
  • "Other" Income Security
  • "Other" Natural Resource Funding
  • Farm Income Stabilization
  • Agricultural Research Services
  • Energy Conservation
  • Energy Information, Regulation and Information
  • Funds for "Other" Advancement of Commerce
  • Pollution Abatement
  • Protection of Biodiversity and Landscapes
  • Housing Development
  • Community Development
  • Water Supply Funding
  • Recreational and Sporting Services
  • Space Flight, Research and Supporting Activities (to be given to the Air Force and put into the general military budget)

Wail all you want.  There just is not the money to pay for these programs.  Hold your breath until you turn blue and pass out. Just do not expect anyone to be there to move your sorry butt out of the way of oncoming traffic.  If you want to continue these programs because you think they are so important then I suggest you donate the money to keep them going.  But you will not.  So don't pretend that you will.
If individual states want to maintain these unconstitutional programs they may do so as well.  But good luck with that considering that states already receive over 30%, on average, of their operating budgets from Washington DC.  And most of that money is going bye-bye with this real plan to reign in our debt.

The following programs, departments and boondoggles get 10% austerity cuts from their 2011 levels:

  • General Retirement and Disability Insurance
  • Federal Employee Retirement and Disability
  • Social Security
  • Medicare
  • Atomic Energy Defense Activities
  • Defense "Related" Activities
  • Federal Law Enforcement Activities
  • Federal Litigative and Judiciary Activities
  • Criminal Justice Assistance
  • Ground Transportation
  • Energy Supply
  • General Public Services

Again, pitch the biggest fit you want.  There just is not the money to be found to keep them going at the rates Washingtonians want.  Oh, and all these 10% cuts are a minimum pending a review of waste, fraud, abuse and yes, constitutionality of every penny spent on them.

The following programs, departments and boondoggles get 15 to 40% austerity cuts as noted from their 2011 levels:

  • Department of Defense (15%)
  • Air Transportation (20%)
  • Water Transportation (20%)
  • "Other Transportation" (20%)
  • Legislative Functions (40%)
  • Executive Direction and Management (40%)
  • Central Fiscal Operations (40%)
  • General Property and Records Management (40%)
  • General Personnel Management (40%)
  • General Purpose Fiscal Assistance (40%)

The following programs do not get cuts:

  • Income Security for Veterans
  • Veterans Education, Training and Rehabilitation
  • Hospital and Medical Care For Veterans
  • Veterans Housing
  • Other Veterans Benefits and Services

Why don't these programs get cut?  Because the men and women who actually go out and take bullets for this country are underpaid as is.  Complain all you want.  Our soldiers fight for this country and get next to nothing in compensation.  It is only right that we support them for their service.

So where does all this bring us to?  It brings us to a budget of just about $2.3 - $2.4 trillion for next year.  After we pay out things like tax refunds and other debts the United States will net, by my estimate, about $2.4 to $2.6 trillion.  That does not give us a lot of breathing room.  But there is some breathing room.

If there is an extra $100 billion or $300 billion then it can be used to start paying down the $14.3 trillion debt politicians have racked up at the behest of citizens who could not be bothered to realize they were asking for things we could not pay for.

There's the plan.

But I will make you a bet that no one in Washington has the honesty to realize it is the way best forward from here.  Nope.  We will more than likely just get more of the same for years to come; higher spending, higher debt and a bigger crash in the end. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com.  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.

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