The Constitution vs. the Federal Budget

I am amazed every year when I graph out the Federal Budget. Here is the President’s 2008 Budget:

I’ve highlighted the largest four categories of us to discuss.

Let us start with #3 Defense (19% of the budget): I think that this one goes without too much discussion. The purpose of the government is to protect us from foreign and domestic enemies and therefore should have the funds needed to provide that protection.

#4 the Treasury (16% of the budget): I wonder about the growth of this every year but until we decide that the Internal Revenue Service has gotten too big and we are willing to completely overhaul our tax code…preferably to a flat (or possibly a consumption) tax we are out of luck in reducing this by a large amount.

#1 and #2 are HHS and SSA (combined 42% of budget – 22% and 20% respectively). 42% of our Federal budget is for these two Entitlement Programs!! Both of these departments are huge boondoggles that are grotesquely overweight. There is only one thing that should be done to these departments and that would be the systematic elimination of them.

With a clear conscience there is no feasible way to out and out eliminate them in a 2-5 year time period. Our best hope would be to phase both departments out over say 25-30 years. This would allow for people on these systems to be either transfer to private systems or to simply adapt to the new situation.

Now I know that I sound like a bit of a hard ass here but at no time should the government be responsible for guaranteeing someone health insurance or retirement funds…it just is not their job.

The Preamble of the US Constitution states:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Our forefathers believed that the government should “PROMOTE the general welfare” not “PROVIDE the general welfare” there is a huge difference.

The Democrat party has used the Patriot Act as their rallying cry to prove that the Republicans are trying to be “Big Brother” when in fact it is the Democrats themselves that wish to be big brother by promoting governmental guarantees like health care and retirement! These programs help to keep the masses, usually those that are in the lower economic side, in line and help to get Democrats elected. “If we provide for them they will vote for us.”

The reality is simple we need to show people that while hand outs are nice they come with strings…in the case of HHS and SSA that string would be a lazy attitude toward issues that are important. “If Uncle Sam is going to pay for my –fill in the blank with whatever government entitlement program you wish- why should I save any more?” This attitude then causes the program, which was meant to be a safety net, to become a guarantee. This then creates a situation in which government gets to decide matters that people should have a right to, such as what type of life would you like in retirement?

We should do our best to reduce the scope of the Government and begin by reducing Americans reliance on Entitlement Programs.

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