2/14 UPDATE: Here's the President's proposed budget:
Within the next couple weeks, President Obama will release his version of the Federal budget. We know he's going to be cutting some corners as the recent election sent a signal that the American public wants to get spending under control.
The new Republicans in control of Congress just issued a blueprint for their budget reductions - finding $2.5 trillion to carve out. But their plan is still vague and two weeks ago, House Speaker Boehner couldn't come up with any specific places to pare down.
So let's help the President and Congress out:
What government programs ought to be axed?
And this doesn't need to be on the Federal level only - what state and local programs are worthy of being wiped out?
To kick things off, here are some ideas from Bill Eggers, author of "If We Can Put a Man on the Moon" -
A quick excerpt from the article:
There are several lessons to keep in mind when building a balanced cost reduction program:
- People tend to overestimate cost savings, and dramatically underestimate implementation costs.
- At least 30 percent more in savings than actually needed should be identified to achieve your overall target savings.
- The people who work for government are not your enemy -- they are the folks who will help you make these needed changes. They must feel respected and their contributions valued, even as wrenching changes are taking place.
Don't look at me! I'm going to get kinda greedy here and say that street-level agencies have pretty much had all they can of budget cuts. The amount of stress that the social safety net is under due to the depression is only exacerbated by budget cuts.
You may have a more valid point than you realize. The degree to which many foriegn countries have offloaded their national defense to the U.S. security umbrella is staggering. We currently have more destroyers supressing piracy between the Bay of Bengal and the Pacific than all the nations in southeast Asia combined. We are picking up most of the costs for peacekeepin around the world but particularly in the Balkans and Africa. We are taking the lead on going after the Somalian pirates and of course there is the global war on terror. As Russia found out yesterday, the U.S. is far from the only target.
But I would not advocate charging for our security services. That is a little too mercenary for my tastes. Switzerland tried it during the Reformation and it didn't work out very well. Instead, I would propose refocusing our military on North America. We could reduce defense spending considerably and still maintain a North American shield, including missile defense, that would preclude attacks on the U.S.. Also redploying all those drones currently used in Afgahnistan and Pakistan would help secur our southern border.
Yet by doing some nation building we help improve the lives of others.
Puerto Rico complained about our bombing range till we threatened to move out - killing taking thousands of local support jobs and removing people who pump thousands per month into the local economy.
HHS spends 200 million more on us than the Military 600 million dollar budget.
With the federal deficite growing 3.4 trilion from 10.6 to 14 trillion in two years cuts are needed.
Do we really improve their lives or simply delay the day of reckoning until the pent up frustrations suppresed by our nation building efforts boil over? Sometimes people need to work out their own solutions.
Also, we find ourselves too often taking sides between two groups of evil doers and pretending that our guys are really good. This makes us look either stupid or evil or both. We would be better to let the bad guys take each other down and than make clear to the last one standing the terrible price they will pay for trying anything within 500 miles of our borders.
Well put Pamela! I have to agree. I have long said that we have to stop trying to be the World's Policemen and start taking care of ourselves and let other countries take care of themselves...do a little more diplomacy and alot less militarily!!
That would save HUGE amounts of money (and lives)!