How about the Defense Department's $721 billion? Much of that money could be saved if the administration just shrank the military's mission to its most important role: protecting us and our borders from those who wish us harm. Today, we have more than 50,000 soldiers in Germany, 30,000 in Japan and 9,000 in Britain. Those countries should pay for their own defense. Cato's military cuts add up to $150 billion.
I've now cut enough to put us $2 billion in surplus!
Can we go further?
"Repeal Obamacare," syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock said.
Reason magazine editor Matt Welch wants to cut the Department of Homeland Security, "something that we did without 10 years ago."
But don't we need Homeland Security to keep us safe?
"We already have law enforcement in this country that pays attention to these things. This is a heavily bureaucratized organization.
"Cut the Commerce Department," Mary O'Grady of The Wall Street Journal said. "If you take out the census work that it does, you would save $8 billion. And the rest of what it does is really just collect money for the president from business."
As the bureaucrats complain about proposals to make tiny cuts, it's good to remember that disciplined government could make cuts that get us to a surplus in one year. But even a timid Congress could make swift progress if it wanted to. If it just froze spending at today's levels, it would almost balance the budget by 2017. If spending were limited to 1 percent growth each year, the budget would balanced in 2019. And if the crowd in Washington would limit spending growth to about 2 percent a year, the red ink would almost disappear in 10 years.
As you see, the budget can be cut. Only politics stand in the way.