The Onion yesterday published an eight-point plan to avert the rapidly-approaching fiscal cliff, and its editors are nothing if not confident. The editorial begins by declaring: “Those who reject any part of this plan are not only ignorant, but are also guilty of actively trying to undermine the nation and its government.”
Their cuts would be brutal … and unique. The Onion proposes abolishing several agencies (such as the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency), New Mexico, dams, and elk. Schools would only teach corn farming, nuclear weaponry and print journalism. All foreign aid would be cut, except to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. And fishing licenses would cost $140,000.
Since my wife is from Iowa, I was somewhat disturbed to see The Onion propose targeting Iowa and Minnesota teenagers as a way to eliminate 8 percent of the nation’s population. (They don’t explain how this would be accomplished, but I suspect it would involve some sort of Hunger Games.) But I don’t want to be accused of actively trying to undermine the United States, so I guess I have to support their whole plan.
But at least they’re not proposing more cuts to federal pay and benefits. So that’s something, at least.
December 13th, 2012 at 8:07 am
Legitimate cuts could and should be made. Fire 50% of SES-level personnel and 50% of military officers equal to or above the rank of 0-7. We have far more GOs and equivalents in the pentagon overseeing far fewer uniformed troops than we did under the Reagan era.
Any military officer retiring at the rank of 0-5 or higher should pay tricare costs equal to the FEHB cost of a quality Blue Cross insurance plan. Lower this fee for lower grade retirees. (Military personnel retiring who are injured in combat should pay nothing for tricare regardless of rank)
Reduce the number of DOD civilians. We have nearly 150,000 more today than we did only a few years ago, yet the active duty force is shrinking. Achieve the reduction through incentives (VERA/VSIP) and attrition.
These are sensible methods for reducing pentagon spending.
Apply these rules throughout the government and the reductions in expenses would be substantial.