How can we find out, and find out quickly, whether the newly elected tea party senators and representatives are serious? Many of us want to know if this will be a 1994 sellout all over again but we don’t want to wait two years to find out. (Granted, Murray knew right away but we are mere mortals.)
I have an idea. Let’s pick a federal agency that is arguably extra-constitutional, notoriously corrupt, useless, wasteful, and has a proven history of making life worse for almost everyone it touches (except the bureaucrats and contractors of course.) Let’s also choose an agency that has a sizable budget. Granted, the 1994 sellouts would not even cut the tiny subsidy to the NEA when I challenged them to do so the last time. But the tea party movement has raised the bar and we will not be satisfied with a miniscule “sacrifice.” No, this offering up of political power and pelf has to really “hurt.” It must be in the many billions of dollars. And it must be a complete elimination with no programs transferred to other federal agencies. Under true federalism, these functions could very well be absorbed by the states but that’s not our concern here. So be it. People can and do vote with their feet to escape high-tax states such as New York and fly to low-tax states such as New Hampshire. The Free State Project has institutionalized this efficient form of direct citizen action.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the acid test which will allow us to know if these tea party officials are serious or are just a bunch of egotistical politicians seeking a DC diversion from life “down on the farm.”
The agency that they should abolish or at least de-fund is HUD. I could write a book about the damage HUD has wrought in its history and prominent libertarians James Bovard and Thomas DiLorenzo have exposed its failure in many articles over the years. A panoramic review will suffice here.