1. George Washington had four cabinet departments. Since then weve added fourteen new departments, and reduced by two (Navy Department became part of Defense, and US Post Office became a quasi-corporation). How many are in line with constitutional requirements, and how many could be dispersed as state functions? a. Department of Energy should be eliminated; President Carter created it to minimize our dependence on foreign oil, and to regulate oil prices. Good job? This department is tasked with maintaining and producing nuclear weapons. Why? What does the Pentagon do? And management of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve could, as Clinton suggested, become an outside entity. It also disperses stimulus package funds. And it runs an appliance-rebate program, and Weatherization Assistance Program, and for this it received an additional $37 billion in stimulus money, doubling its annual budget. b. Department of Education is, of course, unconstitutional. The Constitution clearly states that powers not granted to the federal government belong to the states. So where is the impetus for its creation? Unions. The National Education Association (NEA) In 1972, the massive union formed a political action committee released Needed: A Cabinet Department of Education in 1975, but its most significant step was to endorse a presidential candidate- Jimmy Carter- for the first time in the history of the organization. D.T. Stallngs, A Brief History of the Department of Education: 1979-2002, p. 3. When formed, its budget was $13.1 billion (in 2007 dollars) and it employed 450 people. IN 2010, the estimated budget is $107 billion, and there are 4,800 employees. Wanting to Abolish the Department of Education Is Not Radical - Mona Charen - National Review Online In November 1995, when the federal government shut down over a budget crisis, 89.4 percent of the departments employees were deemed nonessential and sent home. Beck and Balfe, Broke, p.304 2. If you want a real eyeful of potential cuts that would save billions, a. The GAO says the federal government made at least $98 billion in improper in 2009. White House reports $98B in improper government payments - Nov. 18, 2009 b. Federal auditors rated every government program, and found that 22% of them, $123 billion in spending, were ineffective! 50 Examples of Government Waste | The Heritage Foundation c. Did you know that the CBO reports a vast number of cuts that would save a fortune? http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/102xx/doc10294/08-06-BudgetOptions.pdf Here are a few: i. The CBO also considered the option of cutting the Airport Improvement Program that provides grants to airports to expand runways and improve security, saying this would reduce spending by $10.7 billion through 2019. ii. The CBO also considered the option of cutting the Airport Improvement Program that provides grants to airports to expand runways and improve security, saying this would reduce spending by $10.7 billion through 2019. iii. End subsidized loans to graduate students Ten year savings $18.8 billon iv. End Department of Energy research on fossil fuels. Ten year savings $7.9 billion. 3. "Just days before Republicans take control in the House, the debate over whether to raise the debt ceiling continues to loom over the nations capital....a prime example of where rhetoric might meet reality for newly elected House Republicans.... vowing to oppose measures that would allow the Treasury to borrow beyond the $14.3 trillion ceiling Congress set in 2010. " Read more: Debt ceiling a major test for GOP - Jake Sherman - POLITICO.com This will be an interesting 'discussion.' What do you think...raise it?