15 May 2010

I could put strychnine in the guacamole

Budgeting experts for households will tell you that it's the big stuff that gets people in trouble. Buying too much house, too much college, too much car. The nickel and dime of cutting back on 5 dollar cups of coffee and packs of smokes will help you stretch for those things. But they really don't matter much over the long run and anyway often have plenty of hedonistic value that isn't as easy to figure as the mistakes people make in paying for the really big things that may offset the problem anyway.

We've got way too much house on the federal (and state) dime just in those future entitlement programs (Social Security and Medicare/Aid), not to mention dozens of major programs outside of the big two hogs (FDA, DoA/food subsidies, hell we've still got tobacco subsidies, DEA/Drug war, DoE/NCLB) that could stand to go away without much grief from anybody who could consider themselves a "fiscal conservative".

So instead the solution is... to save a penny. Or actually less than a penny.

That scam "works" in Office Space only because he moved the decimal point over a couple spaces by accident. And they did it a few thousand times a day. Let me know when something crosses into the 9-10 figure dollar range per year (not per decade) at least on the chopping block. I'll take this more seriously.

(there is one idea there that does qualify, but welfare reform is best thought of as not giving as much money to people who are wealthy first, which is probably on the order of 10-12 figure range per year in costs in terms of wealth transfers from poor to rich through the tax code (HMI), public pensions, agricultural subsidies, many forms of college subsidies, and non-means tested social security and medicare).
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