Want to save $500 billion this year? Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has a way to do it.
Is it realistic? Maybe not every part of it, but have a look below and judge for yourself. I don’t think his total removal of rental subsidies is unreasonable — the fact that Section 8 is a total failure doesn’t justify dumping its beneficiaries into oblivion. But there’s also no reason every agency has to see its budget increase every year, and a lot of these cuts really do make sense. Most of them simply represent a return to 2008 levels of spending — remember that a 30 percent cut is less than it seems when an agency’s budget been increasing by 40 percent over the last few years.
Why fund NASA at traditional levels if President Obama has scaled back its mission? Why not let Indian tribes manage their own trust funds, especially considering the federal mismanagement? Why not realign our military bases abroad, sell unused federal buildings (something Obama has already begun doing), transfer some national parks to the states, and end the wasteful corporate subsidies that come out of the Departments of Energy and Commerce?
This exercise illustrates the huge changes that lie (not too far) ahead given the large deficits (and debt) we face.