"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Death and Taxes

>> Tuesday, January 04, 2005

See this for a visual representation of how our tax dollars are allocated. Try this one if that one is not available.

*mibi did a good job of graphically representing the breakdown in a single poster.

Some of the numbers surprised me, others not so much. What strikes you about this poster? What struck me is how much is being spent on non-essential programs.

I consider the following to be non-essential:

  1. NASA: Why should it be sold? Most of the truly essential government needs for a space agency (communication/spy/GPS satellites) have been transferred to the Air Force. Private enterprise can now do it's R&D and launching functions and the Fed should never compete against it's own citizens. Sell off the assets and let entrepreneurs do their thing. We'll be setting up factories in the asteroid belt outside of Mars in no time.
  2. Amtrack: Why should it be sold? The Fed owning a train would make sense if members of Congress or military personnel used it to get around the country. They don't as it's faster and usually cheaper to fly. A government owned and operated train has no incentive to service new locations, no incentive to be efficient and cater to customer's needs and it still costs as much as flying. Sell it off and give the new owners financial incentive to expand the service area/routes and bring the price down.
  3. The Department of Housing and Urban Development shouldn't be a Federal agency, each state should come up with it's own version.
  4. Department of Education shouldn't be a Federal agency, each state has it's own version. Education decisions should be made at the school board level. Anything higher and you get the lowest common denominator with little personal incentive to be better.
  5. Small Business Administration has outlived it's usefulness. As a small business owner, I got no help from them when I started. It is an impediment to many.
  6. In the Department of Labor; the Training and Employment Services and Unemployment Services departments should be moved to the state level. It is impossible to have a national policy when each community has it's own needs and concerns.
  7. In the Department of Health and Human Services; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Center for Children and Families should be moved to the state level for the same reasons as listed above. Make these policies and decisions as local as possible to get a little bit of the bureaucratic overhead out of the way.
  8. Look at the Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture for cuts. Anyone know what the Food and nutrition Services does?
  9. Other agencies: What does the Corporation for National and Community Service do? Why is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission separate from the DOE?


I think that would be enough changes for my first year as President. The complaint line is now open....

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