Downsizing Bureaucracies

This is the single most step for our government to rein in our spending and pay down our national debt.

New taxes? More taxes? No.

Higher wages? Lower wages? No.

 Older retirement ages? Younger retirement ages? No.

The answer is downsizing bureaucracies. The explanation is simple. All the way from the Department of Defense, to the public school system, the most rewarded government employees are those that are able to gain the biggest slice of the government tax pie for their bureaucracy. They compete with the other bureaucracies for those tax dollars.  

The whole emphasis is wrong. Today, the most valuable members of any bureaucracy are the grant writers. What if the most valuable employees became those that find ways to downsize their bureaucracy.

Every government agency has enough fat in it for at least 10% of its budget to be trimmed and the agency made leaner. The result would be a healthier and more efficient government. The agencies would function better if every dollar was spent wisely rather than getting all you can from the taxpayer.

If the mindset of the government bureaucracies were to reduce their size and make the most of what they have rather than just asking for more money, this would be the first and most important step to paying off the national debt.

Imagine the change in morale if the focus of rewarding good behavior changed to how to do things better with what we have rather than gimme, gimme, gimme. This change would be a win-win for everybody.





One thought on “Downsizing Bureaucracies

  1. Yeah Dave…you’ve hit on one of the most puzzling, controversial, + difficult areas of modern economics!

    Ever since we went off the Gold Standard during the Nixon administration, the whole concept of paying down the debt has become so politicized that it’s almost impossible to see if there really is a long-term vision for dealing with America’s debt. Since both political parties add to the debt in different ways, each party can then resort to the “Blame Game” by blaming the other party for the fact that our national Debt is approaching 100% of our GDP. As you know, this level of debt is in the unstable zone.

    Unfortunately, by getting to this high of a level of debt we’re ignoring the fact if a destabilizing event such as “The Great Recession of 2008” were to occur again, we could be pushed closer + closer to actually defaulting on our debt. If America were to default the ramifications could be enormous.

    You’re spot on about how bureaucracies feed on the fact that instead of looking out for America as a whole, each bureaucracy is now encouraged to look in isolation at their interests alone.

    Your solution is an excellent one to pursue if America were still at the stage we were 20 years ago. At that point in our history there was a big push to lower the debt since we still had a commitment to our country as a whole. Unfortunately, that commitment to the “big-picture view of America” seems to be gone now. In it’s place are competing groups just committed to themselves + their subgroups as opposed to America as a whole.


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