Even during this recession, our federal government has continued to wastefully spend and expand its reach. Members of Congress continue to fund their pet programs, while the executive branch creates new programs on a whim. Instead of tailoring the budgets of our current departments to the needs of the people, government bureaucrats continue to justify increasing federal budgets simply because of past increases in funds; we cannot continue down this road towards unchecked budgets feeding our uncontrollable deficit.
The federal government is too large, too wasteful, and involved in far too many aspects of our daily lives. Last year the federal government spent more money in a single day -- roughly $9.5 billion -- than it spent on the entire annual budget in 1940. Federal spending in 2010 was nearly six times higher than in 1980; its rate of growth more than doubled the rate of inflation.
The federal government spends more than $6.5 million every minute on average. It takes the government less than half a second to spend an amount equal to the median household income in the U.S. And if you were to set $3.5 trillion worth of dollar bills next to each other -- the size of the federal budget last year -- they would span nearly 330 million miles, longer than the distance from Earth to Mars and back again. Stacked on top of each other, the dollar bills representing the towering $3.5 trillion federal budget would nearly reach all the way to the moon.
Some have offered limited laundry lists of potential reductions in federal spending to address the nation's fiscal mess -- this approach suggests that any items not found in the laundry list are therefore pure and should be ignored and left alone. Instead of offering up token spending cuts, the next president should be direct and open with the American people and let them know that when it comes to federal spending, every single penny will be examined and all options are on the table. We believe that wasteful spending can undoubtedly be identified in every single program and every single agency, and should be rooted out and eliminated the second it is found regardless of whether it has a special-interest benefactor or constituency. Instead of increasing funding or demanding the federal government do more, we must have the federal government do less with less.
No individual or institution in this country could possibly spend so much money so quickly and be assured that every cent was spent wisely. It is no wonder that four out of every five Americans are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, or that a majority of independents now believe the federal government poses an immediate threat to our rights and freedoms. We cannot allow the federal government to continue its expansion on the back of the American people.