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Most American voters want to see the federal government make spending cuts across the board, but those same voters doubt such cuts will take place, according to a recent Rasmussen Poll. The survey found that only 39 percent of likely voters think it is somewhat likely that government will significantly reduce spending while 57 percent see spending cuts as unlikely. Eleven percent believe spending cuts are very likely in the near future and 20 percent believe that spending cuts are not likely at all. That group has strong grounds for its disbelief.
As one Washington observer noted, recently reelected President of the United States Barack Obama is in fact a big spender and fervently dedicated to ever-expanding government. He confirmed his spending habits by the creation of Obamacare, an enormous and expensive new welfare-state entitlement. On Obama’s watch federal spending has jumped to 24.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product, the highest since World War II. The president is willing to use executive power to increase federal spending, and it bothers him not at all that Solyndra and other recipients of federal stimulus funding have gone bankrupt.
President Obama supported the creation of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, an entirely new agency most successful at making government bigger and more expensive. In the negotiations surrounding the “fiscal cliff,” not a single federal agency or bureaucracy, however useless or counterproductive, was even on the table.
The most prudent to eliminate would be the federal Department of Education (ED) because education is the responsibility of the states. ED has only existed since 1980 and was a payoff to the National Education Association, the teacher cartel that endorsed Jimmy Carter for president in 1978. Despite an ED budget of $68.1 billion, American students trail students from Canada on international tests, even though that country has no federal education department. So the U.S. Department of Education is a failure in its most basic mission.
Once started, unfortunately, federal bureaucracies are practically impossible to shut down, whatever their cost, inefficiency or corruption. That’s why none were even considered for closure during the fiscal cliff impasse. That’s why those who believe that spending cuts are unlikely or not likely at all have the strongest case.