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Government Departments Aren't Sacred – 'We Spend Money Like It’s M&Ms'


CAPITOL HILL—Some are blasting President Trump for the big budget cuts he’s proposed this past week for a number of government agencies.  But some in Washington are ready to go much further and wipe out whole federal departments and programs.

Heritage Foundation economist and Trump advisor Stephen Moore says of the federal government, “We spend money like it’s M&Ms.”

Moore advised Donald Trump during the presidential campaign to make huge cuts and save taxpayers money if he won the White House.


“We keep growing this beast of government, but people outside of Washington feel like ‘what am I getting in return?’   They understand that their tax dollars, when they’re wasted, that’s stealing from taxpayers,” he told CBN News in its Washington studio.

That's why Moore says he would wipe out the entire Department of Education: the wasted money and the fact Washington has no constitutional business in the education field.

“Education is a state and local responsibility.  We don’t want the federal government sticking its finger in all these state and local decisions on schools,” Moore stated.  "We spend 50 billion dollars a year at the federal level on education spending.   And that’s on bureaucrats down the street from here.”

Very expensive bureaucrats said Kentucky congressman Tom Massie, who's sponsoring a bill to kill the entire Dept. of Ed & those bureaucrats' jobs.

The Kentucky Republican said of those Dept. of Ed workers, “There are 45-hundred bureaucrats here in Washington D.C. that make an average of $105,000 a piece. That’s over twice the average teacher’s salary in Kentucky.”


Since states and local districts already take care of education, he explained a federal department is redundant and unnecessary.

“When I started school as a youngster in public school in Kentucky, there wasn’t a Department of Education, yet education existed,” he said with a smile.

And that's not the only cabinet-level department Massie and Moore would kill.  Both would get rid of the Department of Energy.


“Our energy policy should be two words: free market.   We don’t need government choosing one form of energy over another,” Moore insisted.   “We should let the private sector decide.  Whether it’s going to be coal, natural gas or oil or hydropower or solar, the market should decide that, not bureaucrats in Washington."

Massie added don’t even tax Americans for such departments.

“A lot of it’s spent on the bureaucracy.   We’d be better off not even collecting those taxes and bringing them to Washington D.C.,” he explained.

Moore shared, “You’re not going to see the word ‘energy’ in the Constitution.   In fact, ‘schools’ are not in the Constitution.   Our founding fathers never thought that the United States federal government would be running the schools."


Moore also targeted the Commerce Department for elimination, saying, “It’s become the Department of Corporate Welfare.  It gives away special favors to big corporations.”

He added, "I’m a free-market guy.  I want our businesses to succeed.   But I don’t want our government to be giving handouts to businesses.   I want businesses to survive based on building a better mousetrap and building a better product.   That’s what made America great, not bureaucrats at the Department of Commerce telling businesses how to run their companies."

Moore suggested doing away with the Department of Agriculture as well, saying, “We have the best farmers in the world. We’re the breadbasket of the world.  The farmers don’t need people in Washington to tell them how to grow the food and how many acres to plant.  The farmers should decide that."


But the Ag Dept. also handles food stamps.   Of that Moore said, “We have 44 million people on food stamps today.   Let’s get them jobs, not give them aid.”

Which led him to a general attack on welfare spending.   “You remember 20 years ago we did welfare reform in this country.  We put people back into jobs.   More than half of welfare recipients moved out of welfare into jobs.   That happened at the state level.  It didn’t happen from Washington.   Turn it back to the states and let them come up with solutions."


Kentucky’s Massie is cosponsoring a bill to wipe out the Environmental Protection Agency, though he’s quite the Green believer himself.

“I live off the grid.  My house is powered with solar panels,” he said.  "Yet people think because I want to eliminate a federal bureaucracy, I’m against the environment.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  I’m for freedom and I’m for allowing people to make personal decisions."

But he’s offended by the waste and overreach of the EPA.

“Running around writing their own laws.  They have their own police force.   They buy weapons and ammunition,” he pointed out.

Critics have blasted the EPA for its clamping such stiff regulations on businesses, it’s threatened to hobble or wipe out whole industries and throw tens of thousands of Americans out of work.

Moore spoke of Scott Pruitt, the brand-new EPA administrator, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general actually sued the EPA 14 times.  

“He wants to turn a lot of the environmental protection to the states,” Moore said of Pruitt.  "He knows in Oklahoma they’ve done it: they’ve cleaned up their environment and they’ve been able to have a healthy economy.  Those two things are not incompatible."


Moore suggested just getting rid of the vast redundancies across the federal government could save a ton of money.

“Did you know there are 56 different job training programs in Washington?   There are 48 special education programs,” he said.  "Why not consolidate them, put them under one roof?   That’s what a business would do."

Both Massie and Moore point out Washington has no constitutional authority to do much of what it does with these bureaucracies.


\Moore stated, “You could make an argument that my friend and one of our great economists, Walter Williams, makes.  He says two-thirds of what the government does isn’t even sanctioned in the U.S. Constitution.  Which means it’s unconstitutional.” 

And so much of it near useless contends Moore. He shared, “When I came to Washington in the 1980s our federal budget was slightly less than a trillion dollars. Today we’re spending four trillion. Now does anybody think government’s four times better than it was 35 years ago? It’s actually worse.” 

He also recalled, “There are hundreds and hundreds of programs in the federal budget that we were recommending in the 1980s to get rid of. And today, 30 years later, they’re even bigger than they ever were before.   So you have to have somebody come in and clean house."

And the present power structure in Washington might be the first in decades to do it.   In fact, many federal bureaucrats are likely shaking in their boots knowing that this businessman president paired with both a Republican House and Senate may actually have what it takes to shrink government rather than grow it. 

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