Those of you familiar with “old school” roleplaying may know the name Jim Ward (among other things, he wrote Gamma World). He needs some help with medical bills. I’ve sent some love his way, I hope you can do the same. (And, no idea if he is related to me. It’s possible.)
…the key thing for any fiscal adjustment plan to say on the cut side isn’t really how much money you’re cutting, it’s what things do you want the government to stop doing. Once you name the things, you can total up the savings. Then you can either say you’ve cut enough, or else you can go back and name more things.
So with that in mind, here is what I’d like my government to stop doing, in no particular order. I want the government to stop…
- …embargoing Cuba.
- …printing official signs and government paperwork in languages that are not English.
- …subsidizing industrial farming.
- …ignoring post-industrial farming.
- …unconditionally supporting Israel. (Support Israel, yes, but don’t give them checks without strings, and call them on their shenanigans.)
- …buying people drugs.
- …tracking, arresting, trying and incarcerating people for buying plants.
- …ignoring the cost-benefit of long term education as a weapon in the “War on Terror”.
- …declaring war on abstract concepts.
- …fighting in previously declared wars on abstract concepts and, instead, switch such efforts into “campaigns” with reasonably well-defined victory conditions.
- …pouring money into overpriced, questionable defense systems.
- …maintaining the Department of Education, which can boast almost no tangible successes over the last 30 years.
- …supporting horrible market incentives, like the Community Reinvestment Act.
- …funding any part of the Federal Communications Commission that does something other than mediate spectrum usage collisions.
The Cato Institute has very detailed thoughts about what they want the government to stop. The New York Times also offers and interactive method for playing with what stopping certain things will save. What do you want the government to stop doing?
(Hat tip to MN for pointing me to the original article.)
No matter what your reaction to yesterday’s elections here in the States is, please take a moment tonight to join me in raising a pint to John Hickenlooper, the next governor of my home state of Colorado. Not just because Hick is a really good guy. Nor even because he knows how to make some really good beer.
Instead, raise a glass to Hickenlooper for starting his campaign with a pledge to avoid negative attack ads, and actually sticking to it. And also because the ads he did run were a cut above your average political shilling.
So, here’s to you, Governor Hickenlooper. (Now, if only this glass was filled with some Rail Yard.)