A department-by-department guide to cutting the government's budget.

Department of Education

The Department of Education provides loans and grants to college students and subsidizes elementary and secondary schools.

The department will spend $66 billion in 2014, or $537 for every U.S. household. It employs 4,100 workers and operates 120 subsidy programs.

Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration (SSA) runs the Social Security retirement and disability programs. It also runs the Supplemental Security Income program.

The SSA will spend $914 billion in 2014, which is about $7,431 for every household in the nation.

Department of Energy

The Department of Energy oversees nuclear weapons sites, runs electric utilities, and subsidizes conventional and alternative fuels.

The department will spend $28 billion in 2014, or about $228 for every U.S. household. It employs 15,000 workers directly and oversees about 100,000 contract workers.

From the Downsizing Blog

Improve Government: Repeal Aid to States

James L. Buckley’s new book, Saving Congress from Itself, examines federal aid-to-state programs. The federal government spends more than $600 billion a year on 1,100 such programs for education, welfare, and many other state and local activities.

Fraud in the Defense Department

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost more than $1 trillion with billions going to Department of Defense (DoD) contractors. All of that spending has led to a large uptick in waste and fraud. As much as $60 billion has been wasted on U.S. operations in those two countries, according to analysis from the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Justice Department has brought more than 235 criminal cases since 2005.

Drugs for the Deceased

Medicare fraud is rampant. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates fraud compromises 8 percent of total expenditures, or $44 billion annually. Outside estimates are as high as $120 billion. A recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General highlights just one of the many examples of waste, fraud, and abuse within the system: Medicare paying for drug coverage of deceased beneficiaries.
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Downsize the Department of Agriculture