This morning, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) unveiled a bold proposal to trim trillions off America’s bloated budget. It represents the only serious proposal out there to get America’s finances back in order, and as such he is to be congratulated for his courage and foresight.
However, as Margaret Thatcher found in the UK during the 1980s, spending is only half the battle. The nature of the bureaucratic beast is that it will expand again. That’s why President Reagan’s simplification of the Tax Code wore off, and we now have a far more complex tax code than we did before tax reform.
We therefore need a similarly comprehensive reform of the federal government that will address what might be termed the “supply side” of the federal bureaucracy, to prevent it getting in the way of an entrepreneur-led recovery.
This reform should include:
- Abolition of whole government departments that have no valid constitutional purpose, such as the Department of Education and the Department of Labor
- The rechartering of valid existing agencies as performance-based agencies that exist to serve the public, not hinder them
- Reform of federal pay and working conditions
- A reduction in the use of federal contracts and grants, to tackle the “shadow” public sector
- Introduction of a single, fair tax system and a new Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights
- End labor unions’ privileges that put them above the law
- Privatization of appropriate government functions
and, above all,
- Genuine regulatory reform as proposed by Wayne Crews and Ryan Young.
A genuine public sector reform package must be as sweeping and comprehensive as Rep. Ryan’s spending reform package. Only then will America be on the road to genuine, sustainable recovery.