Federal government spending, where to cut and trim

It’s been 16 years since President Clinton took office, and at the time he asked the public for suggestions on how to reduce the deficit. If I remember correctly, Al Gore was tasked to find inefficiencies and redundancies in government and squash them.

It never happened. The federal budget has ballooned from about $1 trillion to an estimated $3 trillion in 2009. To be sure, Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Congress and the Executive Branch are all to blame.

But we are to blame as well. The voters placed politicians in power and kept them there as they continued to jack up federal spending, all along taking more of our freedoms away.

Our town centers do need those brick crosswalks after all, and since the federal government is willing to give us money to build them, we may as well take the cash. If we don’t some other small town will.

After my dad passed away, I found a letter on his computer that he had written to Clinton after he was inaugurated in 1993. I’m not sure if I even knew what the difference was between a conservative and liberal back then, I just knew what values – both economic and moral – my parents had instilled in us.

As an example, I needed cash to buy my first set of scuba gear back in 1989. My dad was happy to loan me the money from some extra cash he had available from his small business, but I paid a 9 percent interest rate on the money and was expected to make prompt payments for the next 12 months. He was smart and made a modest profit since the bank was paying less than 9 percent. I learned a lesson in banking.

My memory is terrible, but I do remember stopping into the shop where he worked and telling him he needed to tune into this guy on the radio – AM radio. My dad enjoyed listening to the FM oldies station at work and we switched the station. That’s the way I remember it, but it’s possible that my dad had me listen to this new guy on the radio. Again, my memory stinks.

Either way, we were listening to Rush Limbaugh and found out I was a conservative. Not a Republican, but a conservative. A conservative defines who you are, a Republican is just a political party you join.

thumbnail-deficit-solutionsSo on to the letter. What makes this special is that the same letter written almost 16 years ago applies today. This is how conservatives need to think when it comes to federal government budget policy. I’m not sure if the prose is particularly eloquent, but it gets to the point pretty darn quick.

Yes, times have changed since 1993, but the overall point is right on target.

To make this letter search engine friendly, I’ve transcribed it here since I only have a hard copy, but attached is the scan of the original.

Mr. President,

This letter is in response to your request for deficit solutions.

A few weeks ago I sat down to re-read the Constitution of the United States of America. The document is very clear to me. Apparently, it is not clear to many lawyers, judges and politicians. Certain Powers are given to each of the three branches of the federal government, All others remain with the individual states and the people. (Please reference Amendment Ten.) Powers in the following areas are NOT given to the federal government. Therefore all federal spending in these areas can be eliminated.

Some are listed here.

  1. The Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Energy
  2. The Department of Housing and Urban Development
  3. The Federal Emergency Management Administration
  4. The Social Security Administration
  5. Federal Unemployment Administration
  6. Medical and scientific research is not directly related to the federal responsibility for national defense
  7. The National Endowment for the Arts

Additionally, all Federal revenue sharing and grants must be eliminated. Revenue Sharing is inter-governmental graft, a corruption which causes State and Local Governments to abandon their Constitutional Powers in exchange for Federal Money. This evil is so intense that the framers of the Constitution and the brave Colonists who fought for independence would certainly wonder why they separated from England. Local governments justify spending Federal money by saying the money will be spent by other local governments if they do not accept and spend it. Thus the People lose the ability to prevent unnecessary spending. Hear the Founding Fathers howl “Taxation without representation!”.

Mr. President, please sit down today to read the Constitution of the United States of American which you swore to uphold just a few weeks ago. If the Presidency, the Congress, and the Federal Courts will not live and operate within the Powers granted, or withheld, by this document, then can we expect the People to respect and obey the laws written under those Powers?

Jim McGough

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Gary -The Uneducated on January 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

    #1 -A quote-"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty" Thomas Jefferson to James Madison 1787 found on the second page of the phamplet from the libary of congress. What content made him say this I do not know sorry.

  2. Gary -The Uneducated on January 22, 2009 at 8:49 am

    To all the above-We the people of the United States,in order to form a more perfect Union,establish Justice,insure domestic Tranquility,provide for the common defence,promote the general Welfare,and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourseves and Posterity,do ordain and esablish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  3. Steve McGough on January 22, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Please review the definitions for the words promote and provide.

  4. Gary -The Uneducated on January 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Article I-section 8.The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes….and provide for the common Defence and General Welfare of The United States;…  To establish post offices and post roads;… To promote the progress of science and useful Arts,…

  5. Gary -The Uneducated on January 22, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Thanks I am always seeking knowledge and will do.

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