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, February 17, 2011

Reducing Government spending: some recommendations.

I've been working on this for quite a while. I think I'm ready to post it online, as well as sending it to my senator, congresscritter, and a few others. I'll try to keep things neat. This will be a cut and paste operation, so there may be a failure or two.

Reduce or eliminate at LEAST half the regulatory burden the nation operates under. It's nothing but an unreasonable drag on the economy. The best way to do this is to state unequivocally that ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES must reduce their regulatory burden by 50%, and tell them they will have their budgets cut accordingly.

Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.

Eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Eliminate funding for farm subsidies on all farmers earning (not profits, earnings) more than $2 million a year, and ALL corporate farms. Establish provisions for rescuing farmers from being shut down due to national disasters such as floods, drought, etc., but not from bad management.

Eliminate the ethanol subsidy, and subsidies on solar and wind energy.

Require the Department of Energy to actually do something useful, like approve new nuclear reactor designs, or be eliminated.

De-fund Obamanationcare.

Shut down and phase out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and Sally Mae.

Cut all government payments to individuals by 2.5% across the board: that includes ALL salaries to government employees, elected and appointed officials, payment to retirees, and Social Security payments, Presidential compensation, and all cabinet-level posts and below. Do NOT cut disability payments.

End public employee unions, they're unconstitutional. ALL public employees serve at the convenience of the government. There is no such thing as a guaranteed government job, nor should there be. Unionization of government employees is a farce.

End the forced unionization of the railroads, the Jones Act, and Davis-Bacon.

Eliminate ALL of President Obama's "czars". There is no provision in the Constitution for them, and no need. The Cabinet is supposed to be his "advisors". He doesn't need double the number, especially with the poor "advice" his "czars" have given him, and the expense of their offices.

Reduce the size of the Federal bureaucracy by 10% across the board. The only exception would be the size of the Armed Forces, the Coast Guard, and the non-administrative positions of the Border Patrol, Immigration, Customs, the FBI, and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

STOP all payments of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to illegal aliens and use the savings to enhance border security.

Eliminate at least one-half of all unfunded liabilities imposed on state and local governments.

Re-establish congressional control of government agencies such as the Environmental "Protection" Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Agency, NASA, NOAA, and the rest of the alphabet soup of government agencies. Establish operating rules that are consistent, scientific, and reasonable. Cut funds accordingly.

End the subsidy to Amtrak. It either stands on its own, or it dies. Eliminating unreasonable union rules that make passenger service unaffordable will do wonders for making passenger service more affordable. It may not be enough, but that’s tough. We can’t afford to subsidize white elephants.

Why do we have all of these independent agencies, with the bloated bureaucracies they generate, instead of having them as part of one of the established Departments? I’ve made recommendations.

Independent Agencies and Government Corporations
“Independent establishments are created by Congress to address concerns that go beyond the scope of ordinary legislation. These agencies are responsible for keeping the government and economy running smoothly.”

Congress created them, Congress needs to clean them up. I’ve recommended either putting them under the appropriate (to me) Department, or eliminating them.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Department of the Interior
African Development Foundation
State Department
AMTRAK (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
National Directorate of Intelligence, along with many others.
Commission on Civil Rights
Health and Human Services
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Labor Department
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Labor Department
Corporation for National and Community Service
Labor Department
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia
??? Congress has abdicated most of its responsibilities for administering the District of Columbia. They need to re-assert them under a central agency UNDER the Legislative Branch.
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
Defense Department
Election Assistance Commission
I haven't decided on this one yet. It probably should go under Justice.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Department of Interior.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Department of Labor
Export-Import Bank of the United States
Commerce Department
Farm Credit Administration
Agricultural Department (Commerce and Industry)
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Commerce Department
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Federal Election Commission (FEC)
This and the Election Assistance Commission can be combined.
Federal Housing Finance Board
Federal Labor Relations Authority
Labor Department
Federal Maritime Commission
Commerce Department
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
??? Health and Human Services?
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
Federal Reserve System
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
General Services Administration (GSA)
Keep independent and separate.
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Move to Interior
Inter-American Foundation
International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB)
Merit Systems Protection Board
Labor Dept.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Either give it a real mission, or eliminate it.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Combine with Institute of Museum and Library Services under Interior
National Capital Planning Commission
See "Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia"
National Council on Disability
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
National Mediation Board
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Commerce Department
National Transportation Safety Board
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Energy Dept for now, move where Energy ends up.
Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
Health and Human Services
Office of Compliance
Office of Government Ethics
Create Office of Congressional Oversight and Management. Include this, Office of Personnel Management, Office of Special Counsel, Office of the District of Columbia (and all District government supervisory functions), etc.
Office of Personnel Management
Same as Office of Government Ethics
Office of Special Counsel
Same as Office of Government Ethics
Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive
Homeland Security
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
State Dept, or eliminate.
Panama Canal Commission
Eliminate - we no longer "own" the Panama Canal, and we should quit trying to undo Jimmy Carter's blunder.
Peace Corps
State Department.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Labor Department
Postal Regulatory Commission
Congressional Oversight & Management
Railroad Retirement Board
Eliminate at the same time the union requirement for railroads is eliminated, merge with either Social Security or other government retirement accounts.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Selective Service System
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Social Security Administration (SSA)
Tennessee Valley Authority
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
United States Agency for International Development
United States International Trade Commission
United States Postal Service (USPS)

I'd appreciate comments or feedback on this.

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