It’s totally impossible to downsize the federal government…

…and here’s how we can do it.   

First, why is it impossible?  Why do you think, you racist?

Blacks are disproportionately represented in government jobs.

Yes.  Would this be a problem if the budget was balanced?  Not at all.  But the budget’s adding debt at the rate of $5,000 per citizen per year.  And “if something can’t go on forever…it won’t”. But, 

Which politician will vote and fight to slash jobs and fire lots of black people? And if that actually somehow takes place, what exactly do you think will happen in the press and in black America?

So, here’s what we have:

1) If we don’t massively downsize the government we’re going to go bankrupt.

2) Massive layoffs are politically impossible because of the disproportionate effect on black Americans. 

3) ???

4) Profit!!

We cannot make headway on point #1 if point #2 isn’t taken into account.  Tea Partyers, much as I love them, show no signs of understanding this.  But what’s conceptually “impossible” for social mammals is child’s play for the W.O.R.M..  Does point #3 seem intractable to you?  Try substituting this:

Pay federal workers not to do their jobs. 

For the rest of their lives, if necessary.  A 365-day paid vacation every year, 366 in leap years, starting ASAP.  And if they “double-dip” by doing private sector work during their endless vacation?  Why, that’s not only permitted, it’s greatly encouraged! 

This is not a joke.  I am not kidding.  But am I crazy? 

Here’s the federal payroll, March 2009.

Fifteen billion per month, let’s say it’s $200 billion per year.  Benefits not likely included, so tack on another hundred billion.

What do we get for paying $300,000,000,000 to our employees every year?  An economic loss of up to $1,750,000,000,000, on total federal expenditures of $6,200,000,000,000, of which about $1,500,000,000,000 is borrowed.

Well?  Heed the Foghorn!

Here’s the list of federal executive departments.  Next radical idea:  any department that hasn’t been around since America’s beginning isn’t necessary for America’s existence.  Because duh.   

So how many do we have to have?  Uh…as it turns out…none.  But the Founding Fathers included a lot of geniuses, and they gradually added the Departments of State, Treasury, and War, plus an Attorney General (Justice). 

There are a few…a very very few…legitimate federal functions in other departments.  Let’s sum them up as “settling states’ disputes”.  Well, that’s why federal courts and the Justice Department exist.  Justice, especially, may need some expansion to handle essential federal regulations.

And…everything else can go.  Since we’re paying people not to work, how many of them will need government vehicles, buildings, computers, etc?  None.  So we eliminate non-personnel budgets and sell off mountains of government assets.

Obviously, the minimum we cut from federal expenditures must be at least what we’re borrowing.  This argument is purely moral:  American children aren’t allowed to vote in this theft of their future earnings.  I’d rather they rose against us in armed rebellion and killed us all, than that we continue to enslave them.

Unless the “plan” (Ha ha, kidding!  There’s obviously no plan.-ed) is to default, whether through outright refusal or by slapping green ink on paper.  In either case, we’re a nation of thieves.  This is also unacceptable to me.   

Therefore, we cut a few hundred billion “into the black” and start paying down the monstrous debt.  Let’s shoot for a two trillion dollar reduction.  (Remember, “entitlement” spending will continue to grow, as will interest payments until we balance the budget.)

We’re not doing away with all federal regulations, so legal easements won’t give us the full $1.75 trillion economic boost.  Call it 1 trillion, maybe 1.2.  Of course this added wealth generates federal revenue even before we rationalize the tax code. 

Which means paying federal workers to stop working essentially pays for itself.  Along with increasing private sector wealth by nearly a trillion dollars every year. 

Is this fair?  Is it fair to give the foot soldiers of the Ruling Class excellent wages and benefits not to do anything, possibly for the rest of their lives?  No, of course not. 

But folks…we have to start dividing and conquering.  Not all federal workers are nanny-staters and crony capitalists, and all of them worry about feeding their family.  Many of them are entirely unfit to compete in the marketplace.  They will never betray the ever-growing “progressive” government if we don’t make it worth their while. 

And it’s not like it would be necessary to offer a fifty-year paid vacation.  That’s negotiable.  (ADDED–My starting offer is an 8-year paid vacation followed by a layoff.  That’s time enough to go to college, get a degree, get a master’s, and get a PhD.  Or  “double-dip” for eight years if you’re already employable.  And I’ll have an iota of pity up to 22.75 years…the time from conception of your darling daughter to her graduation from college.  If you want her in grad school, maybe a little part-time work during one of your vacation decades?  Geez.)

The point is, giving one million federal employees a fifty-year paid vacation works.  Paying less than that is simply gravy.  Minimizing federal government is the goal, bribing federal workers with permanent vacation is just a tactic. 

Obviously I’d take this deal in a heartbeat.  It’s the rational thing to do.  Let Rick Perry keep breathing 10th Amendment fire (and mean it, please God) but combine it with an offer to lay off 9/10ths of federal workers while continuing to pay them, for as long as necessary.

Or, we can be Obamaesque.  Keep doing the same old things while hoping for different results.

Control-freaks, “activists”, and rent-seeking remoras would all scream bloody murder at federal dissolution, of course.  Let ’em.  We can’t make this omelet without cracking a few eggheads.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer crowd. 

Okay, that’s the idea.  Shoot it down if you can.

NOTE–I’ll be blegging blogging biggies to bless this post, so a (probably wishful) “Welcome!” to all new readers.  The digital doors are always wide open to your thoughts and comments.

UPDATE–Linked at proteinwisdom.  Thanks!  If you haven’t checked out his site, no one on earth is better than JeffG at using the “elites” academic jargon against them.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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22 Responses to It’s totally impossible to downsize the federal government…

  1. Publius says:

    Suggest one slight mod, with a h/t to Heinlein. Amend the constitution so that all employees of the federal government (other than those serving in the armed forces) are barred from voting so long as they are receiving a paycheck.

    • wormme says:

      Oh, certainly. We’ve proposed that here, and also that dependents of the federal government not be permitted to vote. You must be a fiscal adult to meddle in the affairs of adults. It was good enough for John Stuart Mills, and it makes total sense. People receiving bread and circuses government cheese and television don’t decide how much they get, the folks paying for it do.

      Thank you very much for joining us.

    • Mountainbear says:

      Same should be applied for voting “rights”.

      Service guarantees citizenship. If you’re living off the tax payer, you have no right to vote.

  2. DefendUSA says:

    ASince you got a linky…here are a couple you might like-
    And another:

    • wormme says:

      Yes, those are good.

      I dispute that democracy is the least bad form of government. Monarchies are both the best and the worst, depending.

      And there may be an elegant solution to the democratic fiscal problem. It’s idea for the Constitution 2.0: you give up the right to vote in a government’s elections if you take a job with that government. That’s a negative feedback control over government’s size and scope. As is denying the vote to “wards of the state”, including welfare recipients. If you’re not a fiscal adult, you have no right to meddle in their business.

      • wormme says:

        Which reply, of course, is almost identical to the one to publius. Really need to do replies in bunches, or at least when not dead-tired.

        Sorry for the broken-record impression.

  3. midwest bill says:

    My starting offer is an 8-year paid vacation followed by a layoff. “

    Four years is enough, then scale it down to zero the next eight … of course the “99ers” already get two years unemployment benefits, but government jobs have grown since there is no “downscale program”. And scaling down government over a decade would probably be necessary, rather than “cold turkey” … not sure. And you need a catchy title … “Save America Now” … but something with a better acronym.

    To sell this you might start with four years, compromise up to eight. If they start to demand more than eight, they would lose public support. How much sympathy would people get for demanding more than eight years “severance payouts”. There already is a plan for those that can’t make it on their own after 8 years … it is called welfare.

    Entitlement spending is growing, but Medicaid is now available to families with $65,000 income, as I understand it. This is just a way of implementing national health care “under the radar”, while shifting the payments to the states with unfunded mandates. The $65,000 number should be half that, at most. Nursing homes are being cut off by broke states, so liberals can implement stealth national health care.

    • wormme says:

      I’m afraid that four years wouldn’t be enough to get a sizable plurality of fed workers to go along, much less a majority. Especially the “institutionalized” feds. And double-especially the ones who actually know how the private sector works.

      While they would never concede their massive inferiority to marketplace workers, they certainly have an awareness of it. They would have no desire to spend their 4-year vacation training up to become productive employees.

      But hey! If we could downsize the Fed with a 48=month severance package, obviously I’m in.

      • midwest bill says:

        I’m not sure if it is the overFed workers we need to convince, or the bleeding heart voters, that are only slowly becoming aware of our fiscal trajectory. And this strategy might work better using the left’s “gradualism” method. Start with just 10% of the most wasteful areas, Then when that is one year in, move on, till the liposuction tube is accepted, and is probing in between the necessary organs to extract the fat.

        Save America Now Emergency Act. … SANE Act. No extra charge for that piece of brilliance. 🙂

  4. The easiest way to downsize a government reluctant to police itself is through a tax strike or rotating work strikes – worked in Russia. Worked most recently in Iceland. Cummon who wouldn;t love to be part of a tax strike that makes a greedhead government insolven in a matter of weeks?

    • wormme says:

      How do you manage it when your employers and merchants have been forced into being unpaid IRS agents? Without them, you’d have to quit work and stop buying stuff to make it work. And big corporations are interested in sucking up to the Fed, not starving it.

  5. Chris says:

    Mencius Moldbug at had a similar idea. Being kind of a stats nerd, I personally proposed immediate retirement of 50% of the civil service using the formula (years of service + age)/100 * current salary to calculate the initial pension (to a max of 100%), reducing it by 1 percentage point per year until age 65 when you flatline it. Even with COLA, the savings mount up quickly. I’d also cut most government subsidies to zero over 5 years.

    In the end, you’d still have a recognizably modern government, but at a fiscally manageable level. (Whether that’s good or bad is another question, but it’s utopian to think we can get rid of the modern state completely)

    • wormme says:

      Excellent! When the idea occurred to me I was pretty sure it wasn’t anything new. The numbers are too stark.

      Well, the entitlements mess ensures that we can’t clean go back to pre-New Deal restraint. No, I don’t find any of them constitutional, but nor can we let people be infantalized by the government for generations then take their free pablum away.

  6. Pingback: An idea whose time has come:

  7. Dan Baldwin says:

    I am a Tea partier ,and I love them but there are too many liberals in sheep’s clothing. ,I even wrote a post a while ago of the Evils of BIG UNIONS esp.government ones.and how they are a CANCER on every society.,,hardly anyone even commented,SAD! Massive downsizing is mandatory and I would rather make substantial wholesale CUTS now and announce a program of automatic CUTS to continue each year until targets are 10 years..I would raise the age of retirement to 75 yrs. because people are living longer and it would ease the great burden on Social Insurance.and pass laws saying all former agreements are null and void.And cancel all government pensions for Unions below that age,because another problem we face is a lot of these unions have promised ridiculous retirement benefit packages at 55, to their workers and they don’t have the cash to back it up and it will ultimately come out of everyone’s pocket! I would also put an end to the governments ridiculous program of buying people out to get them to leave.Unfortunately all this is MOOT because I don’t believe these intelligent,wise kind of decisions ARE EVEN POSSIBLE from the politicians out there,they’re too many left-wing liberals to whom this fundamental philosophy is completely ANATHEMA !!! Not only that, but schools of higher learning which produce a high percentage of our politicians is and has been for many decades, indoctrinated,spoon-fed these left-wing liberal beliefs.Sad but true is my belief that America MUST FALL,in order to facilitate REAL CHANGE FOR THE BEST SUCH AS THESE! When I say fall ,I mean there must be`a MAJOR ECONOMIC COLLAPSE,like a GREATER DEPRESSION,TO GET PEOPLE TO WAKE UP AND REALIZE THE NEED FOR DRASTIC REFORMS!!!Also because America is in DEEP TROUBLE on so many fronts it is UNAVOIDABLE!

    • wormme says:

      I agree with the bulk of your argument. The age 75 retirement thing might be too rough on people whose jobs have even low-to-moderate physical demands.

      I definitely agree that we’re unlikely to see appropriate changes without some sort of collapse. Even after, leftists will try to blame it on the Tea Partys and fiscal conservatives. But by then they’ll be such hateful creatures that hopefully a large majority of Americans will turn them out.

  8. J.M. Heinrichs says:

    1. The use of the word ‘disproportionately’ is not correct, as the threshhold would be ANY black job loss.
    2. Disenfranchisement of all national and state legislators while they are serving in the respective legislatures. Followed by ‘no representation without taxation’.
    3. Re-examine the potentials of Athenian-style ostracism.


  9. MG says:

    And how do you keep an extreme leftist from simply hiring people so you can pay them for nothing?

    I’m still where I was before: the relationship between government and the people needs to be redefined. Half measures aren’t enough now.

  10. Seven Sins says:

    The fly in the ointment is the demand for public office space, fleet cars and such. I’m sure there would be good demand for the used cars and trucks with meticulous service records, but not so sure about office buildings (see Milwaukee’s white elephant in downtown) and other assets that you are counting on selling. Even fire sale prices might not draw interest and dumping all of this into the market at once would confound the process even more.

    I hope you have an answer for this because I would very much like to support the idea.

    • wormme says:

      Excellent (BEST MR. BURNS’ VOICE) very few folks think about the market pressures when I hawk this idea. I see no reason to rush sales of valuables. The Smithsonian’s treasures shouldn’t all be put in the yard sale at once.

      Short answer is, these are marginal profits or expenses. They are minor compared to total government spending. But every resource we can rid the Fed of, we downsize it.

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