January 28, 2011

rand_paul He’s not from my state but lemme tell you, I like the cut of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul‘s jib.

Throughout his campaign he swore he was going to Washington to shake things up, and he’s not wasting any time. Within the span of a week he’s put forth a proposal to cut $500 billion (that’s billion, with a “b’) from the bloated federal government (you know, the one that anytime you propose even cutting a single farthing from some bow-tied, bum-kissing bureaucrat’s budget you’re going to kill old people and toss young children out on the street) and reform a Social Security program headed for default ahead of schedule. In both cases, he’s pushing the envelope in the hopes of promoting honest discussion and not demogoguery.

You don’t think there’s any waste to cut in the federal government? Here’s just a sample of what Paul proposes to cut:

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH………………………….$1,283,000,000. (23%) Notes: The Government Printing Office is abolished.

JUDICIAL BRANCH………………………………..$2,434,000,000. (32%)

AGRICULTURE……………………………………..$42,542,000,000. (30%) The Agriculture Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Resources Conservation Service, and Foreign Agricultural Service are abolished. The Forest Service gets a $1.2 billion haircut.

COMMERCE……………………………………………$5,322,000,000. (54%) National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is cut by $857,000,000.

DEFENSE……………………………………………….$47,500,000,000. (6.5%)

EDUCATION…………………………………………..$78,000,000,000 (83%) Only the Pell grant program survives.

ENERGY……………………………………………………$44,200,000,000 (100%) The Defense Department takes over all of Energy’s remaining functions (nuclear waste, for example) and about $18 billion of its budget.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES…………..$26,510,000,000. (26%) Notes: FDA is cut by $230,000,000; Indian Health Service is cut by $650 million; CDC is cut by $1.17 billion; NIH by $5.8 billion.

HOMELAND SECURITY……………………………$23,765,000,000. (43%) Notes: Coast Guard is shifted to Defense. TSA’s funds are cut by $900 million.

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT….$53,100,000,000. (100%) Notes: Completely eliminated. Veterans’ housing programs are transferred to the VA.

INTERIOR………………………………………………..$10,934,000,000. (78%) Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs are abolished.

JUSTICE…………………………………………………….$9,057,000,000. (28%) Note: Office of Justice Programs is abolished.

LABOR…………………………………………….$2,803,000,000. (2%) OSHA, MSHA, and the The Employment and Training Administration are spared from cuts (no cuts to unemployment benefits).

STATE………………………………………………………….$20,321,000,000. (71%) Note: Massive foreign aid cuts. All international commissions and organizations are defunded.

TRANSPORTATION……………………………………..$42,810,000,000. (49%) Notes: Amtrak is completely de-funded.

CORPS OF ENGINEERS………………………………..$1,854,000,000. (27%)

EPA……………………………………………………..$3,238,000,000. (29%)

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION…..$1,936,000,000. (85%)

INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS…$24,300,000,000 (100%)

NASA……………………………………………………………….$4,500,000,000 (25%)

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION……………$4,723,000,000. (62%)

OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT…….$9,070,000,000.

FCC…………………………………………………..$2,150,000,000. (22%)

ABOLISH (1) Affordable Housing Program, (2) Commission on Fine Arts, (3) Consumer Product Safety Commission,
(4) Corporation for Public Broadcasting, (5) National Endowment for the Arts, (6) National Endowment for the Humanities, (7) State Justice Institute……$2,050,000,000. (100%)

MISC:
Collect delinquent Federal Employees taxes..$3,000,000,000.
Freeze Federal Government employee pay…..$2,000,000,000.
Reduce Federal Government travel……………$7,500,000,000.
Repeal Davis-Bacon……………………………. $6,000,000,000.
Prohibit union project labor agreements……..$2,000,000,000.
TARP repeal……………………………………….$4,481,000,000.
Sell Federal Buildings……………………………$19,000,000,000.
Reduce Federal vehicle budget…………………$600,000,000.

Elimination of the Departments of Energy and Education through realignment with other agencies and/or eliminated all together are long overdue. The Department of Education should be tossed in the nearest swamp; the states know best how they’re children are to be educated. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is an embarrassment to the so-called “war on poverty”, a cesspool of graft and patronage that should have been eliminated a long time ago. The same holds true for Amtrak.

There are a few things missing here that I would recommend doing. One would be to pull all miltary out of western Europe and places around the globe where there are no tensions that threaten our national security or our allies and put them on bases here in the US. It would stimulate local economies and ensure our fighting men and women are serving our country, not someone else’s. I would eliminate all funding of the United Nations and instead offer it whatever $ it feels it needs to move its entire operation to a benign place like Switzerland or Luxembourg so that all those despot-loving hacks, flacks, and blowhards bring their own special version of “global warming” across the pond.

This is serious stuff, and while one might genuinely quibble with the elimination or reduction in this program or that, it’s about time someone starts making hamburger out of the many sacred cows that have brought this nation to the brink of financial collapse. This country needs to grow up, and what Paul is doing here is starting a discussion few, if any, have had the guts to do while Republicans and Democrats alike were spending our futures and our children’s futures like drunken sailors on a three-day shore leave.

Good for Senator Paul. We send our elected to Washington to (at least supposedly) watch out for our own self-interests, make a difference, and not get absorbed into the swamp of corrupting self-interest it has become. Rand Paul is taking his job seriously, and he’s someone to keep an eye out for. Let’s hope his proposals at least start the discussion of debating our country’s priorities and financial future like adults.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:56 | Comments (0)
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