Thomas Sowell

From time to time some kind readers suggest that I run for public office, including President of the United States. No need for those on the left to panic. It is not going to happen.

Such suggestions, however, cause me to imagine what my platform would be if I were in politics. Once you see what that platform would be, you can understand why it will never happen.

Since politicians like to have campaign slogans, instead of "Bring it On!" my slogan might be "Get rid of it!" to describe all the laws, policies, and government agencies that I would abolish.

A more positive slogan would be "Conservative Radicalism." That is, my policies would be based on traditional values but would make radical changes in order to restore or enhance those values.

Cabinet-level departments, for example, would be reduced to just two -- the Defense Department and the State Department, with the latter purged of the weak-kneed internationalist crowd who have dominated it for so long. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, etc., would all be abolished as just money-wasting bureaucracies serving outside special interests, instead of the people whose taxes support them.

Government subsidies would be drastically reduced, starting at the top. That is, there would be a prohibition against giving a dime of government money to anyone whose annual income or total assets exceed one billion dollars. Why should agricultural subsidies be going to Ted Turner and David Rockefeller, or "universal health care" pay for their medicine?

Who could object to cutting off subsidies to billionaires? Once that was done, however, the next step would be to cut off millionaires. Then we could proceed on down the income scale until people making a hundred grand a year could no longer expect to be subsidized with the taxpayer's money.

The great advantage of this way of proceeding is that it would rob the media of opportunities to run sob stories about how some poor person was hurt by cutbacks in some government program -- even when the vast majority of those who were hurt were the bureaucrats who run these programs and slick special interests who hide behind the poor.

By the time we got down to cutting off all government subsidies to people making $100,000 a year or more, the federal budget would probably not only be balanced but have a surplus. Of course, there would be hordes of unemployed bureaucrats being interviewed on TV, complaining that the world was going to end, without their vital contributions. But that could be brushed aside.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate