Nick Gillespie: Where to Cut the Federal Budget

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(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 20 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

“What Federal Spending Are We Better Off Without?” was the shutdown-inspired subject of a New York Times debate on October 8.

What libertarian wouldn’t like to have a chance to wield that meat cleaver? Nick Gillespie of Reason pointed out there were plenty of places to cut, and he offered a few for starters. Here’s a sample:

“Whole agencies are demonstrably ineffective. The Department of Education was created in 1979, and its annual budget for K-12 education comes in just shy of $40 billion. Test scores for high-school seniors on the National Assessment of Educational Progress – called the Nation’s Report Card – are either flat or slightly below where they were before the department existed.

“Then there’s Defense, which is one of the single-biggest items in the federal budget. The U.S. accounts for 40 percent of global expenditures on military might and, in real dollars, our defense spending rose nearly 80 percent between 2001 and 2012.

“As the shutdown entered its second week, The Dayton Daily News reported that the Pentagon is sending half a billion dollars’ worth of ‘nearly new’ cargo planes to a storage facility in Arizona, where they will join $35 billion worth of other unnecessary aircraft and vehicles.

“When leaders like Representative Nancy Pelosi claim ‘there’s no more cuts to make,’ I have to wonder whether they are tripping on powerful hallucinogens – whose availability undercuts another unnecessary, ineffective and costly federal program: the War on Drugs.”

And that’s just for starters. As Gillespie noted: “Much of what the feds spend money on is either unnecessary or ineffective … or both.”

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off
About the author: James W. Harris

James W. Harris is the editor of the Liberator Online. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."