I mean no one knows why the government makes those. And nobody can say what the funding amounts are. All the information is kept behind closed doors. I could never tell you how much the federal government spends on a certain project until I know that the amount is publicly available with public spending tables and spending reports.
And the big government thing? How much of it is actually government spending? Well, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The amount that was actually in the budget in fiscal year ’05 was between $80 and $90 billion. It wasn’t so much new spending as that we put another $10 billion in it. So the government does some things, but it is very small. And I would say the government does not spend half of it as much as it should. And the question now is: What does half of it take us?
The government spending in Congress over last year was around $900 billion. I think it’s an underestimate, because we don’t know what’s in it. So I would say, for the past four years the budget is going at least $900 billion more that we thought it should be.
There are two other things a federal government agency can do. So on the military side there’s the military. We have two services that do really important things. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as you know, is really in charge of protecting our country against terrorism. The Department of the Interior, they’re in charge of our national parks–that sort of thing. But they’re not the ones that spend the most money in Congress. They don’t pay any taxes.
The other thing the government can do is we have a program called OPM called public pensions. That’s actually another way of saying public employee pensions. And for a long time there was no way to save these pensions, but they were privatized. The idea was that everybody would get a pension, nobody would be fired. And the program actually was able to save money and pay for itself.
Unfortunately, the recession hit–and it did hit the economy hard. The amount of the bailout payments–and it’s $600 billion–to the auto dealerships and to the companies–they dropped like flies as a result of this recession. And the whole system has got to be better prepared for the next recession. There’s a big need there to raise this money.
Now, one of the things