Among the most urgent of government priorities as we begin the new year is to address the skyrocketing national debt. Unless we act now to live within our means, our future as a great nation will be in serious jeopardy. And we need to accept that we cannot simply tax or inflate our way out—history demonstrates that this makes matters worse. Serious reductions in government spending are needed.
They will be painful, and the pain must be shared, but horizontal, across-the-board reductions in which every government program, department, or agency is cut by a set percentage is not efficient, nor are such reductions likely to be permanent. They have a way of regenerating when no one is looking. Instead, we must look for entire functions, departments, and agencies to eliminate. Do we, for example, really need the Departments of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs? Can these functions not be returned to the Department of Defense? Do we really need a U.S. Department of Education? Isn’t education policy best left to state and local governments?