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David Boaz of the Cato Institute has a few good ideas:

The big ones: 1) farm subsidies$10-30 billion, and most of that goes to wheat, corn, soybeans, rice and cotton — and much of that to ADM and Monsanto, who doing very nicely, thank you. 2) Head Start. All studies, thus far, show it has no real effects past third grade, but it’s costing $8 billion a year. 3) War — end the $100 billion a year Afghan campaign, and 4) maybe shutting our embassy in Baghdad that costs $3.5 billion a year to run. (And he’s leaving out the other $15 billion or so for reconstruction and other operations in the country.) 5) Urban transit schemes Subways and light rail are a boon to local governments, which get upwards of $15 billion for systems that do not really serve the majority of their constituents well and could be run more efficiently by private concerns.

That’s about $156 billion, right there…Enough to take a tenth of the budget deficit off the table. I’ll add another two big ones: the drug war. Between the federal and state agencies, you’re looking at $42 billion a year for…well, drugs are plentiful and readily available, from what it looks like on the news. 2) How about military research and development — a disastrously designed system that is rife with waste and fraud: $81 billion or so…change the way procurement is done and keep the brass from trying to turn every vehicle or weapon into the superweapon of tomorrow, and you could trim that by a good $40 billion. That’s before we even get into cutting crap programs that aren’t delivering benefit for cost (the F-22 and F-35, for instance…compare their cost to the relatively high cost/benefit of the Reaper combat drone.)

Hey…that’s about a quarter of the budget deficit plugged before we even look at entitlements…which, unfortunately, we’re going to half to. The elderly will scream murder about it, but hey! if you oldsters just had a look at your Social Security check this month, you already realize the government’s going to screw you, anyway.

 

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