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

Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior oversees more than 500 million acres of land, distributes subsidized irrigation water, and runs aid programs for American Indians.

The department will spend $13 billion in 2015, or about $106 for every U.S. household. It employs 67,000 workers.

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor oversees unemployment insurance, provides training programs, and imposes an array of union and workplace regulations.

The department will spend about $53 billion in fiscal 2015, or about $430 for every U.S. household. It employs more than 17,000 workers.

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.

From the Downsizing Blog

Universal Savings Accounts (USAs) Introduced

I have proposed that America adopt a Canadian-British innovation to encourage greater household savings. Canada’s Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) and Britain’s Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are revolutionizing savings for moderate- and middle-income families in those countries.

Richard Nixon’s VAT

With two Republican presidential candidates embracing a value-added tax (VAT), it is worth looking back at the original federal debate over that bad policy idea. Richard Nixon appears to have been the first U.S. leader to push for a VAT, which is not surprising given that he was perhaps the most statist GOP president of the 20th century. With a three-percent VAT in mind, Nixon called for new federal financing of local schools in his 1972 State of the Union address.

New Study on Higher Education Aid

The U.S. Department of Education spends tens of billions of dollars a year on subsidies for higher education. Federal Pell grants are more than $30 billion a year, federal student loans are about $100 billion a year, and grants to colleges and universities are $2.5 billion a year.
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