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Federal Spending


“Every generation has an obligation to leave its children in a better position than it inherited. Our representatives in Washington are breaking faith with that covenant. America must reduce its federal spending and accumulation of debt for the sake of generations to come.” – David Malpass
 
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.” – Frédéric Bastiat
 
“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” – Thomas Jefferson
 
For the 2018 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2018, the federal government will spend nearly $4.2 trillion. Estimated mandatory expenses such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs, such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income), will consume nearly $2.6 trillion, or 62% of the budget. Interest on the national debt will be around $310 billion. So-called discretionary spending, which includes such items as education, energy, homeland security, HUD, NASA, veterans’ programs, emergency funding, and of course the Defense Department, will come in at more than $1.2 trillion.
 
The budget deficit for fiscal 2018 is estimated to be $833 billion.
 
Instead of requiring the American people to pay as we go for all the federal government’s expenditures, both Republicans and Democrats support the notion that “deficits don’t matter,” and that borrowing to support mandatory and discretionary outlays is not fiscally irresponsible.
 
Both Republicans and Democrats are culpable for the irresponsible fiscal condition of the federal government. Since 1861 they have alternated governing the country, taking the national debt from nearly $0 to more than $21 trillion. They both support the idea that “trickle down welfarism” and “making the world safe for democracy” must be the guiding principles of the federal budget.
 
The changes we need are straightforward. Spending across the board must be reduced. Let’s start with foreign aid. Charity begins at home. If the American people want to support foreign governments they should be free to contribute to their ancestral homelands or to any country they wish. Better yet, they could contribute to NGOs (non-governmental organizations)in those countries to finance work they deem important. Our military budget should be reduced to the level that provides real defense of America without fighting undeclared and unnecessary wars around the world. American troops should be brought home from the hundreds of foreign military bases, which would save tens of billions of dollars annually.
 
Numerous federal cabinet departments, including the Department of Energy, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Commerce Department, and other federal agencies should be abolished. The work of these departments and agencies is important, but local and state governments, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector can perform their jobs more efficiently, at lower cost, and with more citizen oversight.
 
What about mandatory programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other benefit programs? I propose that the millennial generation be given the choice to opt out of Social Security and Medicare so they may enroll in other plans to assure retirement income and medical care instead of relying on unsustainable federal programs. This is consistent with my goal of fostering an America where the people are financially independent and not relying on government programs for their current and future needs. In addition, Medicaid can be phased out over several years as the American people support the creation of nonprofit health centers in their communities, which could be given an enormous boost from multi-billion dollar foundations and individual philanthropists, many of whom have stated their desire to improve the lives of low-income families.