Many politicians claim that they can balance the budget, reduce the deficit, and still provide you with all of the things they have promised. This is a lie. It cannot be done. Simple math proves them wrong. They claim that they can accomplish a balanced budget simply by trimming fat from the edges, or by extending the debt ceiling. Again, this is a lie. They are doing nothing more than pandering. If we want to fix this mess, we have to get serious. The time for pet projects and superfluous spending is over. The only way we’re going to prevent bankruptcy is to drastically reduce the size, scope, and role of government. In other words, we need to return to constitutional governance.
One of the rallying cries of the Revolutionary War was “no taxation without representation”. Think about the morality of our debt situation in those terms. The government is putting our children into debt. The youth of today will have to pay for things that they had absolutely no say in. If this is not taxation without representation, I don’t know what it is. We have a moral responsibility and a parental responsibility to get a grasp on this debt.
The best way to reduce government and begin fixing our budget mess is to eliminate state agencies and sell the buildings. That’s right. Shut down whole state departments. Local governments and private businesses can pick up whatever slack is needed. It won’t be easy, it won’t be fun, and it won’t be popular, but it is necessary. Below is my proposed list of state agencies and their budgets as of FY2014 that we need to eliminate or drastically cut spending on if we want our children and grandchildren to have a chance.
Department of Commerce and Economic opportunity- $1,839,600,000.
Their job is to “retain and create jobs in Illinois”. Illinois is losing businesses and residents at a very alarming rate. Most of this is due to overbearing laws, regulations, licensing fees, and other barriers to successful business. The DCEO is not effective, is a waste of almost $2 billion, and should be eliminated.
Department of Healthcare and Family Services- $17,746,800,000.
The DHFS is the biggest spending cow in our state budget. The DHFS provides comprehensive health-care coverage to about 3.2 million Illinoisans. This sounds great. It sounds necessary. It’s not. When the government gets involved in healthcare, when they provide tax-payer funded insurance, the result is an astronomical increase in healthcare cost. Healthcare costs rise because providers know they will get paid. They rise because the government has used tax-payer dollars to interrupt the natural flow of the market. We have to stop healthcare costs from skyrocketing by letting the free market decide the costs rather than government interference. I propose cutting DHFS by $5 billion. The top 323 DHFS employees make over $100k. We need to cap department salaries at $100k. Nobody should get rich through tax dollars.
Department of Human Services- $6,308,300,000.
I propose cutting the DHS by $2 billion. The top 1,493 employes in the DHS make over $100k. Once again, we have to cap these salaries. None of this will be popular, but nobody will go hungry. State jobs are tax-payer funded jobs. They don’t have guaranteed money, and they should serve the interests of we the people. This is a painful, but necessary measure to fixing our budget problems.
Department of Transportation-$2,712,7000,000
IDOT has 647 state employees who make over $100k. If a worker wants to get rich, he or she can do so in the private sector. We simply cannot continue to pay for lavish lifestyles from tax-payer pockets. I imagine you’re noticing a theme. Let’s cap state salaries at $100k.
Financial & Professional Regulation-108,500,000.
Shut it down and sell the buildings.
Department of Public Health- $511,600,000
Shut it down and sell the buildings. All functions performed by DPH can be more efficiently handled by the private sector.
Environmental Protection Agency- $287,200,000
Shut it down and sell the buildings. All functions performed by the EPA can more efficiently be handled by the private sector.
I’m sure you can all see the trend by now. We cannot continue to operate the way we are. Cutting spending across the board is the only way to claw our way out of this horrible mess that Springfield has put us in.
Another area in which we can reduce spending is by eliminating state legislator pensions. As representatives of the people, it is their jobs to be servants of the people. No legislator should continue to receive taxpayer money or benefits after their term has ended.
This will put us on the track to fiscal responsibility. We have a moral responsibility to our children, to not vote them into debt. If this means we must eliminate large portions of our government, so be it. I am prepared to take the steps necessary to accomplish this. Extending the debt ceiling or raising taxes so we can increase spending is not part of my plan. It won’t be comfortable. It won’t be pleasant. It won’t be popular, but it will start the healing process and stop burdening our children with the consequences of our mistakes.