John Cole at BalloonJuice posts this challenge
from Kevin Drum at CalPundit:
Of course, Sullivan joins the chorus of those who say that they like tax cuts, honest they do, but what they really want is to cut spending. Fine. Let's hear what you want to cut. And remember, for bonus points you have to include some programs that you yourself benefit from.)
Of course, only a liberal (or a congressperson of either party) would think that this is a difficult thing. For one thing, except for defense, there is not a single Federal Program that I consider myself to benefit from. Any benefits I get from government come at the local level (garbage, schools, water, etc). That said, there is a fair amount of waste in the Defense department that I would be happy to see cut. As a first step they can accelerate and expand on the projected list of base closings
which congressional pork considerations keep open. And several weapon systems in development can also be given the boot. But considering that military spending was about the only thing the Clinton administration was happy to see cut I think cuts here would be offset by spending in other areas along the lines Rumsfeld has suggested reshaping the military.
Now that the bonus points are out of the way, lets get to cutting. I culled these from a quick once over of the 2004 Federal Budget
. I am amused, looking over the budget, at the distinction between 'mandatory' and 'discretionary', since except for pensions and Social Security payments which have already been promised and therefore have some contractual claim to being mandatory, everything else in the budget is discretionary (ie exists at the whim of Congress). In fact, since SS benefits have been changed many times it is hard to even claim that they are completely mandatory.
Since I believe drugs should be legalized, the whole DEA can go. NASA hasn't done anything useful in years, scrap it and build a supercollider with some of the left over cash. Department of Energy, useless, gone. Dept of Agriculture, except for inspection services and some of the research programs, gone. End all the payments to farmers to not grow things, honey, mohair, etc, etc subsidies, export subsidies, below market loan programs. HUD, scandal ridden, useless, close it. Department of Education, worse than useless, I think it has actually worsened education, get rid of it, it should be handled at the local level anyway. Commerce department, except for small business assistance which is probably an earner because of backend tax revenue from job creation and some regulatory administrative functions the rest is useless. Dept of Transportation completely useless, except for normal road maintenance programs which are mostly handled by the states anyway and FAA safety administration, close the rest of it. Cut Amtrak loose too and stop the airline payoffs. Community and regional development programs, don't work and are mostly just pork delivery mechanisms to get local congress people re-elected. Department of Health, actually one of the few I don't have major complaints about. CDC functions and food inspections services are actually useful. But I'm sure there is a lot of waste here too that could be cut, there certainly is in Medicare and Medicaid administration. Justice Department, like I said get rid of DEA, also BATF which can be merged with FBI. I think there can also be large cuts made to congressional and executive staffs which have increased exponentially in the last 40 years.
There that was easy and I didn't even get to Social Security privatization. Now since I'm Neo, all I have to do is gain control of the Matrix, and...