Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Letter to Congressman Hinchey: The US Government Needs to Down Size

Dear Congressman Hinchey:

Why don't you and your fellow Congressmen deflate your puffed egos and reduce the federal budget by 50% or 60%? The recent bailouts are proof that you don't know what you're doing.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2007 the US government's direct expenditures or obligations were in excess of $2.5 trillion and other federal assistance, including direct loans, guaranteed loans and insurance, was almost $1.2 trillion. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Gross Domestic Product in 2008 was $14.3 trillion. Thus, US government spending is roughly (2.5 + 1.2) / 14.3 = 25.8% of GNP. This suggests that the federal government believes that 1/4 of the time it can make decisions that are better for society than private consumers can.

This past year has seen an escalation of federal government spending. It is hard to keep track of all the bailouts, subsidies, and handouts that the Bush-Obama administration and the US Congress have concocted, but it seems that these amounts substantially increase the percentage of Gross Domestic Product over which the federal government mistakenly imagines itself best fit to manage.

Rather, the 25% in 2007 was way too high. The federal government has proven that it is incompetent. The 25% should be slashed to the 10% it was in 1950.

If Congress has trouble deciding which government agencies to close, I have a suggestion. Since all government programs are useless, just cut randomly. After cutting the size of government to 10% of gdp, the next step would be to reduce taxation to 10% of gdp. Then people who are a lot smarter than you are, the American public, can begin to repair the damage that Congress has wrought. It will take many years because of your incredible stupidity and incompetence.

A 10% federal budget would still be 10% too high, but it would be a step in the right direction.


Mitchell Langbert

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