To what should we put the budget axe?

Spend a little time perusing federal budget details and you’ll easily find much to prune chop out.

One item I find especially interesting is the increase in the budget for the Capitol Police since 9/11. In 2001 that totaled $120m. Today? Well, the plan for FY2012 is $397m! That’s more than three-times as much!? Though the question pops into my head, “Are our esteemed legislators concerned more about terrorist attacks or an irate citizenry revolting?” Or is that naught but a distinction without a difference – from their perspective, that is.

There’s been much in the news fairly recently regarding mustering the Childhood Obesity Police. Michelle Obama is readying herself to lead the charge against all those little fatties. But I have a better idea. Save money by putting all those cuddly, chubby kiddies on diets. That’ll reduce the Agriculture Department’s budget. After all, “Food and Nutrition Service” outlays have also more than trebled, going from $33b in 2001 to $107b scheduled for FY2012. Eat less, lose weight. Something akin to spend less, reduce debt. Straightforward concepts such as these must be above Legislator pay grades. Or are they?

I’m still working on getting my budget proposal together. No matter. They’re not holding their collective breath in Washington. Trying to figure out which funds are just going around in circles vs. real-dollars-in and real-dollars-out is not an easy task. Perhaps it’s a waste of time. After all, the day may not be that far away when there won’t be a real-dollars at all.

Meanwhile, you can figure some of it out for yourself, should you be interested, and you should be interested since it’s your money, by visiting the linked spreadsheets. You’ll then be able to impress family and friends with your budgetary acumen. Though I’ve had little success along that line myself.

Agency Totals

Agency & Bureau Subtotals

Happy spelunking!

Ciao, Dennis

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