Originally Posted by thatsmrmastercraft
I would really enjoy being the guy to go through all the crap government programs with an ax ready to chop. I'm thinking I could find a little room to save some money.
OK, here's your chance. The US Budget for 2012 contained 3.7 Trillion dollars in spending, and 2.4 Trillion dollars in income, for a net deficit of 1.3 Trillion dollars. So to balance the budget, you need to ax 1.3 Trillion dollars from the Federal Budget.
$778.57 Social Security
$716.30 National Defense
$579.58 Income Security
$224.78 Net Interest
$139.21 Education, Training, Employment and Social Services
$129.61 Veterans Benefits and Services
$79.62 Commerce and Housing Credit
$62.02 Administration of Justice
$56.25 International Affairs
$42.83 Natural Resources and Environment
$31.76 General Government
$31.69 Community and Regional Development
$30.99 General Science, Space and Technology
($98.90) Undistributed Offsetting Receipts
Go ahead, give it a try - Eliminate 1.3 Trillion dollars from the budget. What you'll find is that, in simple terms, you can eliminate everything below "Medicare", gutting essentially the entire federal government, to do so. You'll still have to pay the $224 Billion in interest on the National Debt, so you'll still have to come up with that much more to cut.
At this point, you've eliminated (roughly):
Department of Education
Department of Agriculture
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of State and Other International Programs
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Energy
Department of Justice
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury
Department of the Interior
Department of Labor
Department of Commerce
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works
Environmental Protection Agency
National Science Foundation
Small Business Administration
Social Security Administration
Department of Health and Human Services including Medicare and Medicaid
Department of Defense including Overseas Contingency Operations
What a government! Frankly, I think about half of those federal departments have outlived their usefulness and could go, but most of them have budgets in the $10-$20 billion dollar range - chump change. Killing them off won't make a visible dent in the deficit.
Sure, you could cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but you'd end up with 40 million photogenic retired people outside your door with pitchforks and torches.
You could cut the defense department - but that could never happen. Spending slightly less than the rest of the world COMBINED on the military is somehow sacrosanct. Even completely lopping off the defense department wouldn't balance the budget.
Are you willing to take a shot?