October 17, 2011

Ron Paul's plan to cut $1 trillion in one year...

... and eliminate 5 cabinet-level agencies.

81 comments:

Thorley Winston said...

I count five in the article:
Department of Education
Department of Commerce
Department of Energy
Department of the Interior
Department of Housing and Urban Development

Even if you eliminate their entire budget and don’t try to move any functions to other departments or block grant any of the funds to the States, I’m not sure how that comes to a Trillion dollars per year.

cubanbob said...

1 trillion? heck thats the low hanging fruit. Get rid of Davis-Bacon and alone significantly cuts federal construction spending, force the states and local governments to do the same with their analogues and the savings are even greater. Roll back federal salaries to the 2005 level along with federal pensions and entitlements and now we are running a surplus. And then there are agencies and problems that need to be eliminated or cut. One can dream.

rcocean said...

Well, at least that fence to keep us all in the USA won't be built.

Dead Julius said...

The deficit for the fiscal year just ended was $1.3 trillion.

So unless you are taking about spending cuts up in the $1T plus range, you aren't seriously considering solving our government's immediate financial problem.

Kudos to Ron Paul for putting a plan together that approaches the right magnitude.

Now let's see Romney and Perry show us how they are going to balance the federal budget. Not in some hypothetical 10-year time frame-- that just dodges the issue; besides, we could be living in a whole different world by then.

No, please tell us Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry, how you will achieve a balanced federal budget during your first year in office.

I expect that Romney and Perry will offer jack squat.

Thorley Winston said...

Here’s the details for any who are interested.

richard mcenroe said...

"Well, at least that fence to keep us all in the USA won't be built."

But... but... Ron Paul's been sending me solicitations to help him secure the border!

Was the plucky little rustic being less than candid with me?

Revenant said...

I'm glad somebody finally offered a serious plan for bringing the budget into line.

Real American said...

a good start

prairie wind said...

I can't see him being elected but I would consider him a success if this proposal encourages serious discussion of serious spending cuts.

rcocean said...

"But... but... Ron Paul's been sending me solicitations to help him secure the border!"

Of course - he'll secure the Canadian border. That'll still leave us one big escape route.

rcocean said...

"I'm glad somebody finally offered a serious plan for bringing the budget into line."

Too bad it was Ron Paul that did it.

Thorley Winston said...

So basically Ron Paul’s plan is to (a) reduce health care costs by crippling the Food and Drug Administration with a 40 percent cut so that it takes even longer to bring new drugs and devices to market and (b) eliminating the Department responsible for controlling our nuclear arsenal (since he didn’t include any provision for transferring it to DOD) thereby emboldening our enemies even further.

garage mahal said...

Ok nice plan. But what about the fake eyebrows??? #earthtones

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sayyid said...

So if we enact it, we'll be back down to Bush-level excessive spending.

I guess it's a start.

Revenant said...

Thorley,

Could you provide a link to a detailed breakdown of Paul's plan? You've apparently read one.

Original Mike said...

When we're in hock up to our eyebrows, it is not unreasonable to expect a detailed explanation of why each agency should remain open.

Calypso Facto said...

Paul's nein-nein-nein plan.

I like it.

Hagar said...

Thorley,

It isn't just about their payrolls, but even more so about eliminating the damage they cause.

prairie wind said...

When we're in hock up to our eyebrows, it is not unreasonable to expect a detailed explanation of why each agency should remain open.

Yes, and if we weren't talking about government, that would have happened years ago.

BTW, I think you meant say "in hock up to our fake eyebrows."

Thorley Winston said...

Thorley,

Could you provide a link to a detailed breakdown of Paul's plan? You've apparently read one.


Always happy to oblige.

edutcher said...

He left out Labor, Transportation, and HHS.

You could get rid of just about all the departments created in the 20th century, particularly the ones created by the Democrats - after all, they exist as bagmen to funnel cash to specific Demo constituencies.

Actually, I think his son's is more workable - and responsible, but I like the idea.

And there's little I like about Ron Paul.

Levi Starks said...

GO RON PAUL !!!!!!

Mark O said...

First, get rid of Obama.

rcocean said...

Why don't we just privatize DoD? A lot of goofoffs and slackers there.

A good CEO could put the Air Force on a paying basis in no time.

ricpic said...

A lot of rice bowls have to be broken and when the well connected fight back by calling you a compassionless racist/sexist/bigot you've got to have the courage to say "No, your rice bowl is not more important than the survival of liberty." Ron Paul has that courage. As to the rest? Highly unlikely. And that includes Cain.

Thorley Winston said...

It isn't just about their payrolls, but even more so about eliminating the damage they cause.

Hagar, proposals to eliminate these Departments aren’t new. Bob Dole campaigned in 1996 on eliminating the Departments of Energy, Commerce and HUD but he didn’t suggest that some of the functions wouldn’t need to the transferred to other Departments. Anyone who claims 100 percent savings (as Paul has done) is either (a) planning on eliminating all of the functions carried out by these Departments (which in the Department of Energy’s case includes our nuclear arsenal) or (b) likely didn’t think things through beyond “what cuts do I have to claim I’ll make so I reach a magical One Trillion dollars in savings for my soundbite?” Either way, it shows he’s unserious.


As far as the damage done by some of the departments, the biggest gripe (I work in Med Device law) people in the medical device and pharmaceutical field have with the FDA is that it’s too slow to approve new drugs and devices* and that these delays mean (a) fewer new drugs and devices will get approved (as bringing them to market becomes cost-prohibitive) and (b) the longer that it takes for the ones that do get approved to come to market, the fewer patients who will be able to benefit. Simply hacking off forty percent of their budget isn’t going to improve that process.



* Many of my colleagues in the IP world have many of the same complaints about dealing with the patent office which claims (with some truth) that it’s a largely lack of resources to deal with the volume of work.

bagoh20 said...

I'm thinking that one year of Ron Paul just might be enough. One year of Obama was enough to take things the opposite direction.

Sayyid said...

"Why don't we just privatize DoD? A lot of goofoffs and slackers there."

Because assuming you could squeeze 100% savings out of that, that would still only reduce our deficit about 50% -- by around $700 billion. That's substantially less than the $1T per year that this proposal amounts to.

Yes, you read that right. We're now borrowing twice as much money as we spend on the military.

Simon said...

People who don't know what the federal government really spends its money on are doomed to look foolish when they propose cuts. A few billion here or there—still less a few hundred thousand—doesn't even scratch the surface.

Kirby Olson said...

Ron Paul is a visionary. I wish his voice wasn't so whiny.

He comes off as a nag.

Simon said...

Paul would eliminate the Departments of Education, Commerce, Energy, Interior and Housing and Urban Development. That's good: Me too. But at 2010 numbers, that's only a savings of $146.3 billion. Oops! I forgot his plan to cut the President's salary. Make that... Um... $146.3 billion. As Dead Julius said above, "unless you are taking about spending cuts up in the $1T plus range, you aren't seriously considering solving our government's immediate financial problem," and "Kudos to Ron Paul for putting a plan together that approaches the right magnitude." Well, Kudos for being in the right ballpark. Too bad his game plan remains stubbornly little league.

Carol_Herman said...

1! 1! 1! (Instead of 9,9,9.)

Loony tunes. Ron Paul is in the senate. He has about as much chance of "cutting a trillion dollars" from the budget as I have.

First, of course, I'd bring in a pair of very large shears.

And, then I'd say NO ONE SIGNS A BILL THAT'S NOT WRITTEN IN ENGLISH. And, is any longer than three 8 x 10 pages.

I'd also add jail sentences for LYING! Just to show Alex Kozinski that only a clown would say "lying doesn't count."

How am I doing? Have I been elected, yet?

Revenant said...

Thorley, you keep repeating the claim that he is counting 100% of the department budgets towards his cuts, but I don't see that anywhere in the article. Where are you getting your facts from?

Patrick said...

Ron Paul is good for this. On International issue he is an isolationist. He will lose any profits he makes domestically on bad decisions made internationally.

Patrick said...

Cutting these departments is the best way to make a start on reigning in spending. It takes less nimby consensus.

Thorley Winston said...

Thorley, you keep repeating the claim that he is counting 100% of the department budgets towards his cuts, but I don't see that anywhere in the article. Where are you getting your facts from?

That was in the detailed breakdown that you requested and I provided a link to as per your earlier comment.

Thorley Winston said...

Ron Paul is good for this. On International issue he is an isolationist. He will lose any profits he makes domestically on bad decisions made internationally.

I tend to agree, whether one thinks a world without nuclear weapons would be a good thing, the United States not having them while Russia and China do and North Korea and Iran are developing them is pretty much a recipe for disaster.

Paddy O said...

1 Department to rule them all.

Revenant said...

Thorley, that link doesn't support your claim. He has $0 allocated to, e.g., the Department of Energy, but for the other departments (such as DoD) he only gives a breakdown of what's being cut. It is not possible to conclude from this that all nuclear weapons oversight is being eliminated from the budget, nor is it possible to conclude that the budget for approval of new drugs is being cut. You're assuming facts not in evidence.

For example, he has the DoD budget listed at $501b, which is above to 2006 baseline. That suggests some responsibilities of other departments got transferred there.

Simon said...

Patrick said...
Cutting these departments is the best way to make a start on reigning in spending. It takes less nimby consensus.

Reining in. Horses have reins; reigns are had by Popes and kings. Anyways, your point is correct that cutting $0,146,30,000,000 of the $3,500,000,000,000—less than one half of one percent—is a start. Hell, it's downright ambitious! After all, they say that a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step, and Ron Paul's proposal moves us four miles! That's like saying "I need a ride from Washington DC to Kansas City; I know a guy who can take me as far as Georgetown, and that's a good start!"

Lem said...

Fantastic fantasy..

Has one cabinet-level agency ever been eliminated?

The page "Eliminated cabinet agency" does not exist.

John said...

Rcocean said:

A good CEO could put the Air Force on a paying basis in no time.
++++

Perhaps, but could someone tell me why we have an Air Force to begin with?

We managed to lose WWII without one. We managed to lose Korea and VN with one.

The AF costs a disproportionate amount of money for what it does for us.

Should it even be considered a "military service"?

(Sorry AF vets. This is not pointed at you. It is pointed at the organization)

I might also note that both Perry and Paul are AF vets. None of the other candidates have any service at all.

John Henry

John said...

Oops.

We managed to *win* WWII without an AF

John Henry

rosebud said...

John-

Are you sure we lost WWII? I don't remember reading that.

rosebud said...

Aw nuts, you ninja'd me!

Thorley Winston said...

Thorley, that link doesn't support your claim. He has $0 allocated to, e.g., the Department of Energy, but for the other departments (such as DoD) he only gives a breakdown of what's being cut.

If the budget for a Department is reduced to zero and there is no mention that any functions are being transferred to other Departments and any funding along with them, it’s logical then that the functions within the Department that has been eliminated are also being eliminated.

It is not possible to conclude from this that all nuclear weapons oversight is being eliminated from the budget,

Actually it is. On page 6 where he compares his budget to the CBO baseline agency by agency and the CBO baseline for the Department of Energy is 34.215 Billion (which includes about 10 Billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration), his budget puts it at zero.

For example, he has the DoD budget listed at $501b, which is above to 2006 baseline. That suggests some responsibilities of other departments got transferred there.

That’s not correct. As he states on the first page, Paul isn’t reducing all spending to the 2006 baseline. For the military on page 2 he says that he’s ending all “war funding” and then reducing by 15%. On the agency comparison he’s matching it against the March 2011 CBO baseline of 697.695 billion (I’m using the most recent CBO numbers that I could find) which includes $118 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. You eliminate that and you get about 578 Billion of which his proposed budget of 501 Billion comes to about 86 percent. The difference between those numbers and the one Ron Paul is claiming aren’t enough to account for the funding he’s eliminated for the NNSA.

Maguro said...

John Henry, here is how it works: We have an Army, a Navy and an Air Force. The Army has its own air force and so does the Navy. Also, the Navy also has its own army, which has its own air force.

Clear now?

Lem said...

The tax payers are funding Obama's reelection campaign.

Slow releasing information.. White House visit logs are top secret..

A list of Czars from Middlesex NJ to Kalamazoo Michigan..

This has to be the most imperious presidency in history.

edutcher said...

Carol_Herman said...

1! 1! 1! (Instead of 9,9,9.)

Loony tunes. Ron Paul is in the senate.


No, dear, Ron Paul is in the House.

Rand Paul is in the Senate.

Calypso Facto said...

Maguro: also the Army and Air Force operate their own navies, and the Air Force has its own tactical ground force, so ....

Revenant said...

If the budget for a Department is reduced to zero and there is no mention that any functions are being transferred to other Departments and any funding along with them, it’s logical then that the functions within the Department that has been eliminated are also being eliminated.

Thorley, if the budget mentions the Department of Energy is being eliminated, there are two possibilities:

1. The responsibility for managing America's nuclear arsenal is being transferred to another department, but the handful of lines Paul devotes to department budgets don't go into that level of detail.

2. Ron Paul has decided to unilaterally abolish the American nuclear arsenal and, presumably, discard the weapons at the local landfill or something (since there's no budget for disposal either), but didn't consider that sufficiently important to actually merit an explicit mention in his plan.

Your claim is that (2) is the logical thing to believe. I beg to differ.

garage mahal said...

Far from a military expert, I know there was no Air Force during WWII. It was part of the Army. My Mom finally gave to me my Dad's logbook, about 10 yrs after I gently inquired about it. 35 missions as a navigator on B-17G over Germany. Pretty incredible reading the entries. Berlin-Chemnitz-Giessen-Nurnberg-Ansbach-Bremen, then back to Berlin. Must been a hell of a day.

Revenant said...

The difference between those numbers and the one Ron Paul is claiming aren’t enough to account for the funding he’s eliminated for the NNSA.

We spend around $10b on DoE nuclear security now, and the DoD budget contains a mysterious $8.25b in extra funding. That is at least consistent with the DoE nuclear security budget being transferred and then cut by 15% (along with the rest of the DoD budget).

MadisonMan said...

Can the Executive eliminate those departments?

I ask because I think the Legislative branch likely has a lot of patronage jobs in those Departments, and is unlikely to let those plums go without a fight. So while the plan is a good start, unless the House/Senate are on board too, it's not worth much.

Paddy O, I am reading in a quiet library, and your 652 comment very nearly made me disturb the studious kids who surround me. Hilarious, but I will add: Nerd.

garage mahal said...

Scratch that, make that 3 days worth of missions. LOL. Told you I'm no military expert. Hard as hell to read the tiny time stamps in the logbook, and this ain't my first beer.

Hagar said...

I do not see anything wrong with reconstituting the AEC to manage nuclear issues and firing the rest of the DoE.

edutcher said...

FWIW, the Army Air Forces was on an equal footing with Army Ground Forces (combat arms in the current US Army) and Army Service Forces, which included combat support arms (engineer, chemical, and signal) and quartermaster, medical, ordnance, and transportation.

It was considered a separate command.

Hagar said...

And MadMan,

Years ago PBS had a program interviewing the party "wise men," Haley Barbour, Melvin Laird, Clark Clifford, etc., and Clifford was asked why the President needed so many White House "advisors;" the interviewer thought that that was what the cabinet was for.

Clifford at his most mellifluous answered that, Oh no, cabinet officers were selected on the bais od what states they were from, ethnic groups, etc., and in any case as they settled in in their departments would develop their own ties to lobbyists, factions in Congress, etc, so that they had little or no beholdenness to the President, and the President therefore definitely needed his own personally selected group of advisors around him.

I kind of said , Whoa! This is form of government I do not remember from the Constitution! but that does indeed seem to be the way it is, and has been for a long time.

Patrick said...

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Still a lot of dishonest people in the world.

Thorley Winston said...

I do not see anything wrong with reconstituting the AEC to manage nuclear issues and firing the rest of the DoE.

When others have proposed transferring the NSSA's functions but eliminating the rest of the DOE, the didn't try to claim that they were eliminating the entire $35 Billion budget (of which about $10 Billion is for NSSA). Since Paul made a point of highlighting a forty percent cut to the FDA's $4 Billion budget, it's unlikely that forgetting that he shifted around $10 Billion would be an "oversight."

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Hagar said...

40 years ago there was a rumor around town that there was a top-level security cleared (and highly paid) scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, who every day with go to his office, lock the door, and spend the day entering the Bible into his computer and devising algorithms for searching it for answers to the world's problems.

Could not be proved, since no one else had clearance to even ask him about what he was doing!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@garage

My uncle, who recently passed away, was a 22-year-old B-24 copilot in the Eighth Air Force. They were shot down on a mission over Germany and he spent a year in Luftstalag 3. Fortunately his pilot, Keith C. Schuyler, wrote a book about it, Elusive Horizons. Very interesting.

PaulV said...

Bush overspent the democrats said. Paul just wants to return spending to the level Congress passed in 2006. Not very radical.

garage mahal said...

Tyrone
I'm going to check out that book when I get a chance. What a story to tell. My Dad was in the 8th as well, the 554th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. I might have to email you sometime about your uncle if you don't mind.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Can't we eliminate more?

Bruce Hayden said...

Could not be proved, since no one else had clearance to even ask him about what he was doing!

My memory is that DoE was not nearly as compartmentalized as other classified parts of the federal government.

I had a DoE "Q" clearance throughout most of the 1980s, and spent a lot of time at Sandia. If you weren't careful and were an employee (I was a contractor), with that clearance you could learn to make state of the art nuclear devices in classes given to the professional staff there. A couple of months ago, I talked to a young grad student on the plane who worked there summers (and is working on a PhD in explosives the rest of the time). He had a "Q" clearance, as did his father who worked there, and it doesn't sound noticeable different from when I was spending so much time there.

Roger J. said...

Garage: flying B17s over Germany was quite an exercise in heroism--your dad was obviously a brave guy. The B17 was damn near indestuctable, but even then the men that flew in them were heros.

May I suggest you donate your dad's logbooks to the museum in South Carolina that honors the 8th Air Force? They would be a valuable addition.

Tank said...

Paul presents the first plan that is close to what we need. There is no chance of it happening, but it's nice that someone is actually saying it and running for President.

Those calling him an isolationist are simply wrong. Declining to participate in military adventures all over the world is not isolationist.

Hagar said...

But back in the 60's it was diffiocult to get those guys to admit that Sandia even existed, though whenever they went to Hawaii on "vacation," three weeks later there would be reports in the media about another Pacific Island gone boom-boom.

You got there after Jimmy Peanuts changed the agency from AEC to ERDA and proclaimed a new era of "openness."

Hagar said...

and there are still areas at Kirtland where you don't step over the red lines painted on the pavement, or you will suddenly find yourself face down on the ground with some very muscular young guys pointing nasty-looking guns at your head!

E.M. Davis said...

Far from a military expert, I know there was no Air Force during WWII. It was part of the Army. My Mom finally gave to me my Dad's logbook, about 10 yrs after I gently inquired about it. 35 missions as a navigator on B-17G over Germany. Pretty incredible reading the entries. Berlin-Chemnitz-Giessen-Nurnberg-Ansbach-Bremen, then back to Berlin. Must been a hell of a day.

Garage — You father was a much better man than I. Thank you for his service.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Berlin-Chemnitz-Giessen-Nurnberg-Ansbach-Bremen, then back to Berlin. Must been a hell of a day.

The bomber crews were used as decoys in a war of attrition against the Luftwaffe. They were heroes one and all. garage, I am very thankful for your father’s service.

ken in sc said...

I recommend anyone to visit the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum near Savannah, GA—it’s not far from South Carolina but it’s in GA. They have a multi-media presentation of a bomb run that will knock your socks off. You will even feel the blast of air when the bomb bay doors open.

ken in sc said...

P.S. They have a memorial garden with many of the crews names listed. If you have relatives who served, you might find their names there.

Old RPM Daddy said...

Garage, et. al.,

World War Two bomber crewmen such as your father continue to amaze me. A man I still think about all the time is the father of my high-school girlfriend. He was a gunner on a 15th Air Force B-24. Shot down over Yugoslavia, he wound up spending some time with the guerillas before being rescued by the OSS. He told me that at one point, the guerillas had takend some German soldiers prisoner, and had them lined up in a row. One of the guerillas handed my girlfriend's father a knife, telling him to pick out a German to kill. He couldn't do it, of course. The war wasn't quite that personal to him. After his rescue, he actually flew more missions.

All this before he turned twenty.

Garage, thanks for your father's, and other airmen's, service.

garage mahal said...

Sorry for missing everyone's replies! Thanks, it means a lot.

Methadras said...

Rolling back a 3rd of government is a wet dream and Ron Paul is the wet blanket.

Revenant said...

If rolling back government to where it was a few years ago is a wet dream, you might as well start voting for Democrats -- maybe you can get a few bucks kicked your way before the whole system collapses.

jimspice said...

Hmmm. 80 comments and not one mention of what this would do to unemployment rates.

You don't downsize in bad times. You wait for good times so the market can absorb the unemployed.

I can't believe the one-size-fits all mantra of less spending lower taxes so often goes unchallenged.