The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 October 2005

Tighten that belt, Sam

Matt Rosenberg has lots of ideas to trim the federal budget:

[T]o start with: c-o-r-p-o-r-a-t-e w-e-l-f-a-r-e. End it. I'm just a huge, huge fan of free enterprise and small government, like a lot of Republicans. But tax breaks written into the tax code are evil, and generally not warranted to boot. A special commission of performance auditors with distemper should examine each and every corporate tax break granted by Congress. They should give beneficiaries, experts and the lay public a deadline to produce top-level documentation of proven benefits to the economy. Any corporate tax breaks which cannot be shown to produce a net benefit to the economy will have to be eliminated.

I'd say (remember, 82.3% of all statistics are made up) that this would eliminate about 82.3 percent of all such subsidies in a year's time.

Also targeted is the Department of Energy:

Contract out — all the way — for hazardous materials clean-up; and for disposal and then, security of remaining nuclear-weapons-grade materials. After which, shut the whole stinkin' agency down. They can't do anything right anymore, anyhow. Besides, do we really need the government to give us energy? C'mon.

I love ya, Condi, but you've got to go:

What, really does the State Department do? Except muck up things for the Department of Defense? Useless bureaucrats at State, nearly all. Excise the entire department. Who'd really notice, or care, besides WaPo and NYT reporters, a few equally vestigial columnists, and card-carrying DNC members who comprise their sole readership? Huge savings in salary and bennies, not to mention real estate sales of former State building stock.

I'm not so sure about that; somebody has to run the embassy party circuit.

And he's got a word for the party out of power for the moment:

Dimmocrats: it is not government's job to provide a social safety net. It is the federal government's job to protect our borders (ahem!) and our national security; and to fight vigilantly and intelligently against terrorist organizations who wish to destroy our infrastructure, populace and way of life. It is the federal government's job to help incentivize excellence in public education (no turning back from NCLB now, c'mon!); to protect the environment without becoming pawns of all the friends of Robert Kennedy Jr.; and to help fund transit, roads, highways, airports (especially new ones), dams, and reservoirs. Oh, disaster relief, that's fair enough, too, I suppose. I probably left out a few other things, but you get the idea. Health care? My tight, sweet a--. For veterans, yes (govt. health care, not my posterior). For the rest? It should be their own affair. It's a cost of living, like food and gasoline. Repeat after me: core competencies. Mission creep has gotten WAY out of hand.

Not to mention the creeps who provide staffing for the mission. (Myself, I'm not inclined to cut down the entire safety net, but I don't think it's too much to require that individuals, when circumstances permit, make an effort to extricate themselves from it.)

Based on past experience, I'd say Mr Rosenberg's tongue/cheek interface is currently operating at 41 percent of maximum — but remember what I said about made-up statistics.

Posted at 7:30 AM to Political Science Fiction