Big Government

You Say You Wanna Devolution?


He's got some ideas about making cuts.

The Cato Institute today ran full-page ads [PDF] in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal today urging President Barack Obama and the Congress to cut hundreds of billions in annual federal expenditures, and pointing them to Cato's new site, which lists all kinds of specific programs to be reorganized or euthanized outright. Looks like a useful resource going forward for those looking for better answers to "What would you cut?" than whatever honking noises you might hear from the Newt Gingriches of the world.

As fate would have it, the Reason printing presses are currently disgorging our one-of-a-kind special November issue, "How to Slash Government Before it Slashes You." Like Cato, we're producing scores of concrete suggestions for and examples of governments downsizing to avert fiscal catastrophe and produce economic growth. Unlike our friends down the street, our product comes illustrated not with an image of the Capitol building, but with a deathly hand clutching a menacing knife. In 3-D.

Look for that, and some related videos (also in 3-D!), coming soon. And fer Chrissakes, subscribe already!

Link via Veronique de Rugy.

NEXT: Don't Follow Leaders (Tea Party Edition)

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  1. Website is not every ambitious, include state and local government spending as well. Get krackin’ with Koch’s money!

  2. But wait – Gingrich and Romney say we don’t have to cut any programs, because we can just cut WASTE, FRAUD and ABUSE instead!

    Why would you want to cut any programs, when we can just cut WASTE, FRAUD and ABUSE?

    1. I am a DoD contractor sitting here doing nothing because to do unauthorized work (that includes fixing things that are broken) is considered WASTE, FRAUD and ABUSE, but doing absolutely nothing while I wait for some bureaucrat to sign off on a work order is perfectly acceptable.

      Figure that one out.

      1. This would explain much in my life down range.

      2. The purpose of government accounting is to make sure that you don’t spend money that is assigned for buying toilet paper for buying screwdrivers and don’t spend money assigned for buying screwdrivers on buying toilet paper. This is irrespective of whether or not you need screwdrivers or toilet paper.

  3. Cutting spending and downsizing government are needed and fantastic, but to really get the economy reved up you need a flat tax or consumption tax (repealing all other forms of taxation). 140 billion a year, countless hours spent on tax compliance – this is an utter waste of money.

    It’s time the gubmint’s budget reflected what the productive sector is willing to “give” it, rather than a bunch of jackasses taking what they need to pay off special interests.

    1. Totally disagree. Tax reform would be nice. But we have a spending problem. Not an IRS waste/efficiency problem.

      Guess what happens to spending when you improve tax policy and make things more efficient. Nothing.

      1. Re-read my post. I in no way said we shouldn’t downsize government or cut spending. See “needed” and “fantastic.” But to get the economy going and put a straight jacket on Congressional thieves, you need to simplify the tax code. Until we evolve our tax policy, government will only be tamed temporarily.

        In fact, with a flat tax and especially a single consumption tax, bureacrats can’t social engineer and manipulate the economy in any of the capacity they do now.

        1. I doubt a simple consumption tax will ever pass but it would simplify things greatly. Hannity and the parrots brag about Reagan’s tax cuts stimulating the economy but in reality it was the simplifying of complicated tax code that did the trick. Bush the senior allowed the dems to complicate tax code again and he lost to Clinton’s “it’s the economy stupid!” in his reelection bid. DOH! Read my lips: Its much easier for the GOP to blame Perot than take responsibility for Bush’s bone-headed-ness.

          Obviously Obama will face the same fate as Bush the senior because of all the complications dems have added to the tax code.

    2. Or you could just use a really straightforward definition of income.

  4. And fer Chrissakes, subscribe already!

    If we subscribe now will we get the November issue?

    1. I’ve been contemplating subscribing any way. Check is in the mail pay day, the 3 yr subscription is very reasonable.

    1. Shouldn’t you be at home writing Rocky XIV?

      1. You insult the Alan. He’s working on Rocky V.

        1. My mistake. I thought they already did Rocky XIV. Sure seemed like it.

  5. From George Will’s column in my local paper this morning, attributed to Milton Friedman:

    “Pick at random any three letters from the alphabet, put them in any order, and you will have an acronym designating a federal agency we can do without.”

    1. BHO

  6. Alt alt text (consistent with the article title): “Are we not men?”

    1. We are Devo. There’s a difference.

      1. Devo was short for Devolution

  7. Most interesting thing I thought about the cuts they suggested was as a % how much they would gut indv federal programs. Some are a lot more ambitious than other.

    Agrculture: 75% cut
    Commerce: 6%
    Energy: 35%
    Education: 73%
    HHS: 9%
    HUD: 103% PROFIT??!?!?!?!?
    Transportation: 93%

    1. military, 0%….? then you aren’t serious about cutting government…

  8. List of government programms to cut are for cosmotorians. Real libertarians simply abolish the state.

    1. That’ll be the first item on the agenda in 2013 when the libertarian president takes office.

  9. Cut a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

  10. great job geniuses, one of the first things I see on the website is one of the few things that the government actually probably should spend money on and definitely creates a greater return than the money spent – infrastructure – you’ve got the Dept of Transportation there

    Or is our interstate highway system not that important?

    1. Highway system can be handled by the states.

      1. Other than national defense, I can’t think of anything that can’t better be handled by the states.

        1. National defense, a few other things. The enumerated powers are not a bad list.

          1. enumerated powers?

            INTERSTATE commerce

            INTERSTATE highway system

            On a more specific level, our mixed federal-state system seems to work well for our interstate highways. I’ve done my share of driving and they’re quite sufficient.

            1. My copy of the Constitution doesn’t have anything about interstate highways.

              1. Edwin’s copy contains only eight words: general welfare, regulate interstate commerce, necessary and proper.

                That’s the entire constitution.

                Eight words.

                1. you, sirs, are fucking retarded

                  read what I wrote again. And get it through your thick fucking skulls. INTERSTATE commerce. I’m pretty fucking sure that interstate highways falls under that, you fucking fuck of a fuck-fuck

                  and if somebody conceding that maybe governments maintaining infrastructure is a good idea to you immediately means that that person must espouse the opposite of your philosophy, then maybe your philosophy is fucked

                  1. Edwin is proof that you can lead a troll to knowledge, but you can’t make it think.

                    1. Bullshit.

                      You fucking lose. Fucking deal with it. Interstate highways are constitutional and are one thing that the feds run relatively well. And your stupid philosophy makes you jump to stupid conclusions that if someone isn’t as retardedly dogmatic as you in libertarianism then they must be a liberal. But that’s fucking retarded, and you’re fuckiong retarded.
                      The federal government is clearly way too big, but that doesn’t mean we should scrap the interstate highway system.

                    2. Shit, piss, fuck, fart!
                      Hey, edwin, go fuck yourself in the ear, fucking fucktard.

              2. Yeah but it fucking says “interstate commerce”. The interstate highways is one of the few things that the federal govnmnt does that isn’t a huge stretch of the actual words of the constitution. Just because you’re pretending the constitution doesn’t say what it clearly does say in a manner that favors less government, doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous in the long run.

                Fuck COck gumdrop fucking pickledilly fuck you and your fucking retarded nerdo fuck douche brain you fucking liverlilly dogfucker fucking Barbara Streisand

                1. Hey Edwin, were you aware that the original justification for the Interstate Highway System was not “interstate commerce”, but national defense?

                  Truman was so impressed by how the Germans used the Autobahn to move troops quickly that he had a similar system built in the States.

                  So take your Commerce Clause and stick it in your pee-hole.

                  1. Eisenhower, not Truman.

                  2. OK, so that’s two counts where the feds running the interstate highway system is constitutional.

                    Thanks for strengthening my argument for the constitutionality of federally run interstates, retard.

                2. dogratfucker


                3. Yeah but it fucking says “interstate commerce”.

                  No, it does fucking not. It says, “To regulate Commerce … among the several States ….”

                  And how does building interstate highways amount to regulating commerce?

                  1. are you serious?

                    So building and maintaining INTERSTATE highways doesn’t amount to regulating INTERSTATE commerce? Really?

                    Like I have said, libertarians have to play stupid to defend stupid.

                    1. When you do not understand something and other people do, it is not the other people who are stupid.

                      It is you.

                    2. Where’d my post go? Weird.

                    3. yeah, and right now you look pretty stupid

                4. It actually doesn’t say interstate commerce- it says “regulate Commerce… among the several States”

              3. “The Congress shall have Power” “To establish Post Offices and Post Roads” and “To raise and support Armies”

        2. International treaties? Granted we should join very few, but…

      2. Not when the Fed withholds money unless you change your drinking age to 21!

        1. Drinking age should be 16 (pragmatically) or we shouldn’t have one at all (ideally). Also, the driving test should be a whole lot fucking harder to pass (disclosure: this would benefit me greatly be reducing the amount of time I’m stuck in traffic without forcing me onto some form of ass-smelling public transit that’s out of my way.)

          1. You’re making the huge assumption that you’d be one of the people who could pass the new, harder test. I’ve come to seriously doubt anyone who claims they’re a good driver unless they’re able to show me their license to race in a professional racing circuit.

            1. I think I’d have a shot. If not, oh well. this is not a pragmatic or ideal solution- just a personal selfish one.

  11. now I only need to wait for one of these douche fuck libertarians to deflect by talking about amtrak

    1. And we only need one of the vaginal cleaning product brown eyes to call us names while he proves our point for us.

      1. I take offense to that!

      2. I didn’t “prove your point” you dildo fuck shmutz licker

        Amtrak and the interstate highway system are different things. You can’t say “government sucks” by mixing everything together into overly broad categories. Our interstate highway system is pretty good in my experience. That amtrak is stupid doesn’t negate that.

        1. One of these things is not like the other? That’s your argument?

          Do you KNOW HOW THE interstate system works? Do you know how it is funded? Do you know who maintains it? Are you clinically retarded, or just a moron.

          Also, I apologize to vinegar and water. My bad yo!

          1. You should also apologize to the clinically retarded and morons.

        2. It’s the progressive retards like yourself that mix everything together into overly broad categories.

          It’s because your pitiful excuse for a mind cannot grasp distinctions between money and wealth, society and government, education and intelligence, free markets and crony capitalism, influence and power, no government and limited government, thinking and feeling, the list goes on.

          If your gray matter were capable of making distinctions then you would be capable of rational thought.

          Oh well.

          1. Bullshit. I pointed out how the typical libertarian dogma is bullshit. Spencer Smith said I “proved your point for you” in terms of government sucking at running things, just because I mentioned amtrak, when I had pointed out that our interstate highway system is pretty good. The fact that amtrak is stupid, and maybe not run well, doesn’t chzange the fact that the interstate system is pretty good on the whole, (at least in my experience). That’s fucking bullshit retarded reasoning. I might as well say capitalism is a failure because it doesn’t provide for national defense well. It clearly wouldn’t be true, because you can’ty mix in different things into one pile to slander what you don’t like.

            Amtrak may be stupid, but that doesn’t mean our interstate highway system is badly run.


            1. Edwin|9.16.10 @ 3:05PM|#
              “Bullshit. I pointed out how the typical libertarian dogma is bullshit.”

              And everyone else pointed out that you’re a brain-dead ignoramus with the vocabulary of a high-school

            2. Edwin.

              First, you pointed out no such thing.

              Second, did you read up on how the interstate system is maintained? Here’s a wiki-bomb for you – “While Interstate Highways usually receive substantial federal funding (90% federal and 10% state) and comply with federal standards, they are owned, built, and operated by the states or toll authorities. For example, the original Woodrow Wilson Bridge (part of Interstate 95/495), was maintained by the federal government; its new span is now jointly owned and maintained by the states of Maryland and Virginia.[3] There are also other Interstate Highways within the District of Columbia, which is federal territory.”

              This is not so with amtrak. Basically, with the interstate system, the feds take money from the states’ residents and give it back to the states for funding. It isn’t so with amtrak. If it were, perhaps amtrak would work better.


              Also, my apologies to the clinically retarded and morons everywhere. Also, my bad, yo’s.

              1. In places, even Amtrak is like that. And Amtrak probably works better in those places.

              2. You didn’t negate anything I said, retard – interstate systems are maintained by a fed/state mix. And that mix works pretty well.

                And such a system is well within the bounds of the constitution.

  12. CATO’s full pager in the free Examiner was missing every sixth letter. I thought it was on purpose. Glad to see it was not since it gave me a headache. I can’t imagine anyone not biased toward CATO would bother trying to interpret it.

    They should get their advertising money back for that fuckup.

  13. Are we not men?
    So are the 3D things going to be in red/blue (anaglyph) 3D, polarized 3D, RealD? I found a 3 stooges film in 3D called Spooks! Now I am trying to find a damn pair of 3D glasses I have lying around. I know I have one in a Nat Geo issue on Mars. Once I find them I want to play that 3D NES racing game, watch stooges, and find a copy of Robot Monster in 3D. Sorry for the 3D rant.

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