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04/01/2009

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You are still far too generous to the government but on balance that's not a bad first cut!

I'd cut defense by 40%. That will put the rest of the world on notice that the "cop" on the beat is headed for the golf course. (It probably puts me out of work but that's a small price to pay as I'm pretty fucking useless most days.)


Senator Bunning? Functional Ambivalent? Senator Bunning? Functional Ambivalent? OK, you get my vote. I'm moving to Kentucky.

Sounds great to me. Let's find a way to guarantee a college education to everyone qualified to go to college.

As for the appropriations process, how about requiring that congresscritters recuse themselves from discussion involving projects in their state?

Because, you know, it's a conflict of interest.

Sure, they'll soon figure out a way to swap pork, but it's a speed bump, and speed bumps are good.

Oh, and let's find a way to eliminate lobbyists. I'd drop them off in the Northwest Territories, but I wouldn't want to piss off Canada.

A few that come to my mind:

-Eliminate the US Postal Service and let private companies do mail from now on. Oh sure, I know they've been saying it's been "privatized", but.... uh, please. And any mail service that is bankrupt now, when it can gets its office space for free and can sue anybody who offers a lower price...

-Stop foreign aid. The idea that we're going farther and farther into debt and still dumping money on others is ridiculous. In the real world, you pay your bills and then give to charity.

-Some kinda Balanced Budget Amendment with an exception for when war is declared... and I mean literally declared by Congress on another state.

Of course, that's just common sense stuff. I personally would also like to see just about all federal contributions to our social services stop, etc. etc.

Incidentally, concerning the legalization of drugs: who knew that Portugal has legalized just about everything? I just heard that.

I'm not sure how many private companies would line-up to deliver First Class mail, but with proper protections it's worth a shot, I suppose. I'm not convinced you'd have any takers, and there are reasons why the government has handled postal delivery, but, like I said, maybe it's worth a shot.

You're dead wrong on the other two.

Foreign aid, broadly defined, accounts for maybe 1.5% of the budget. And that's really broadly defined, so that it includes the war on drugs and consul operations and things well beyond construction projects and powdered milk. It's a tiny amount of money that more than pays for itself in good will.

As for the balanced budget amendment, well, imagine we had one right now and had to cuts the federal budget. I know that what Republicans want to do, but even noted conservatives conceded, in the current economic tailspin, that would be a disaster. To put monetary policy on autopilot takes away one of government's most powerful tools. Imagine if we had a balanced budget amendment now, and couldn't do anything about the death spiral the economy has been in. Imagine if the federal government was forced by law to cut jobs during that death spiral, to go from at least partially offsetting the downward pull to contributing to it.

I know: it's what Republicans want to do. But imagine that we, the people, didn't have the power to overrule Republicans in favor of doing the sane thing. Oh, the horror.

Adam,
Let's go one better than dropping foreign aid. Let's demand tribute! We have the most powerful military on the planet. If other nations don't pay up, we move in and take their wealth and resources. Our army is not set up for nation building, but we should be able to secure an oilfield or a diamond mine. I think that most dictators would gladly give us 25% of the take to keep us from taking 100%. I'll write Newt right away to get him on this, stat.

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