Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Killing the Sacred Ox

It's time for Congress to get its act together. Millions of Americans have decided they can put off some discretionary spending to aid those who have lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Congress is having a hard time understanding that we expect them to do some trimming as well. It's a message most need very much to get. Failing to do so may very well cost them their jobs.

Our government is inherently wasteful. Congresscritters and Senasnorters have used the national treasury as their personal piggybank to buy re-election back home. Right now, we're in a serious financial crunch, and these learned gentlemen need to step forward and do what's necessary to ease us through it. I'm not holding my breath.

There are thousands of ways the government could save money. The areas of waste are everywhere. Here are a few things that need to be done short-term, and some follow-up things that need to be done in the long term:

  1. Cut most of the pork in the current Transportation bill.

  2. There are literally billions of dollars in funding going toward projects that are NOT essential in the current transportation bill, in every state in the Union. We need to cut as many new projects as possible, and still avoid unneeded delay in finishing ongoing projects.

  3. Foreign Aid

  4. We need to reduce, cut back, or eliminate billions of dollars going to various nations throughout the world. Some foreign aid is worthwhile. Foreign aid to most European nations is a folly: all of those in the West can fend for themselves, and most of those in the East are recovering nicely. Help where it's necessary, but stop trying to bribe countries to like us. Also cut aid to most Middle East nations, and carefully evaluate foreign aid elsewhere. Make sure we're getting something for our money, and not just pouring it down a rathole.

  5. Tell the United Nations we're taking a two-year hiatus in paying our support for the United Nations, because we need the money to take care of our own needs.

  6. The United Nations is the most wasteful political bureaucracy in the world. It's time they experienced the NEED to reduce their corruption by not having the money to continue it.

  7. Reduce agricultural subsidies, with the goal of eliminating them entirely.

  8. Continue crop insurance, but gradually reduce the amount of coverage from its current level to half that amount. Encourage private firms to pick up the slack. We produce not only more than we can consume, we produce more than we can consume, export, or otherwise use. Let's get back to reality, and get the US Government out of the agriculture business.

  9. Reduce the regulatory compliance burden on our nation.

  10. Our businesses and industries have a hard time operating and meeting all the tons of government regulations imposed upon them. Most of these regulations make little sense, and a large percentage of them could be disposed of without harming individuals or the environment. Get out the red pen, and start lining through them.

  11. Reduce the number of government agencies.

  12. Not only are there far too many people involved in "overseeing" every aspect of life in this nation, there is excessive duplication of effort, agencies working at cross-purposes, and constant regulatory in-fighting. Reduce the amount of government the American people need to support to the bare minimum, and keep that minimum hungry. That way, the people will have more money to invest in their own recovery, and the recovery of their neighbors. This includes reducing the number of Cabinet-Level positions from the current absurd number to no more than eight or nine. It's not only possible, it's essential.

I'd be very surprised that any of these recommendations were considered by Washington. The purpose of the current bureaucracy is to increase, in order to increase the power and prestige of those within it. No one wants to see a reduction in their own personal feifdom, or their own power. Yet that's exactly what needs to be done to free up money for what's truly essential in this nation. The only way these changes will take place is when we, the PEOPLE, insist upon it, and back up our insistence by "firing" our current elected officials and replacing them with those who understand their continued employment will depend upon doing OUR will, not theirs.


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