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

Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce subsidizes businesses, restricts foreign trade, and oversees the Census Bureau and Patent Office.

The department will spend about $10 billion in 2015, or about $81 for every U.S. household. It employs 44,000 workers and operates more than 93 subsidy programs.

Department of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture administers large farm subsidy programs and runs the food stamp and school lunch programs.

The department will spend about $148 billion in 2015, or almost $1,203 for every U.S. household. It employs 91,000 workers and operates more than 266 subsidy programs.

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense oversees a vast array of people and assets at home and abroad, but we could improve security and reduce costs with a more restrained military strategy.

The department will spend about $567 billion in fiscal 2015, or $4,609 for every U.S. household.

From the Downsizing Blog

Federal Nuclear Clean Up: $150 Billion

Cleaning up the government’s nuclear weapons sites has become a vast sinkhole for taxpayer dollars. The Department of Energy (DOE) spends about $6 billion a year on environmental clean up of federal nuclear sites. These sites were despoiled in the decades following World War II with little notice taken by Congress. Then during the 1980s, a series of reports lambasted DOE for its lax safety and environmental standards, and federal polices began to change.

Hurricane Katrina: Remembering the Federal Failures

Ten years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast and generated a huge disaster. The storm flooded New Orleans, killed more than 1,800 people, and caused $100 billion in property damage. The storm’s damage was greatly exacerbated by the failures of Congress, the Bush administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Government Debt: Jefferson and Gallatin Were Right

The world economy is getting rattled this week by the consequences of excessive government debt. Greece may be cut off from its international creditors, and Puerto Rico announced that it cannot make full payments on its massive debt. In both cases, years of excessive spending are sadly dealing a crushing blow to the living standards of millions of average citizens.
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