October 29th, 2019

Taking a Break

I’m taking a break from writing about school to write about something I’m passionate about. The Federal Budget. Yes, I am a geek!

It’s Time to Fix the Budget

My old friend, Terry Jefferies, wrote at CNSnews on October 28th about the explosion of federal spending even when federal revenues are at record levels. The left would have you believe that the Trump tax cuts cost us money. The truth is, federal income tax revenues increased at the same rate (4%) as GDP for fiscal year 2019 and was at the highest level every recorded. However, spending increased at 8% for the same time period.

I could spend a great deal of time crunching the numbers but Terry has done a great job of that. From looking at each individual department to looking at growth and decline, he gives you the adjusted numbers. But the conclusion is the same, we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.

In a recent blog post, I proposed a personnel reduction plan that would save conservatively $250 billion a year. That gets us about 25% of the way to spending what we take in on an annual basis.

If we took Lee Iacocca’s advice and applied the “you can take 5% out of anything and not impact productivity,” you could save through efficiency about $450 billion dollars a year.

We need to get the budget down to about $3.5 Trillion a year. I say about, because when you get to numbers this large, a few billion one way or the other still gets you going in the right direction.

But even with all of this movement in the right direction, structural change needs to be made in the budget process. Starting with restoring an on time budget process, called regular order.

There are two directions to go in and they are both from Georgia Senators. First, you could consider the biennial budget proposal of Senator Johnny Isakson. That would get us passing a 2-year budget every other year (on time) and then spending the off year on oversight and waste reduction. No mater how lean we get, there is always waste in a budget the size of the U. S. Government.

Second, you could implement the Budget Reform suggested by Senator David Perdue. It implements best practices of countries, states and companies to get the best out come and restore regular order to the budget process.

There are lots of ideas out there but the Congress has to start talking about them instead of the petty fights they are having. This is the foundational problem that must be solved in order to lead to the ability to solve others as they come up. Nothing should be off the table for discussion.

I’ll be blogging more about this and I’d love to have your ideas. Email me at martha@marthazoller.com.