Letters to the Editor

Congress could balance budget if it wanted to

Congress should put forth a take-it-or-leave-it budget for 2011-12. Here is how they should do it:

Start with the budget for 2006-07. Increase each department by the cost-of-living rate for the next five fiscal years. Then abolish the Department of Education. Give 80 percent of its money to the states as block grants and use 20 percent to reduce the deficit. Every state already has a secretary of education.

Abolish the Department of Energy. It has 160,000 employees, and we have no energy policy. Give 80 percent directly to the states and use 20 percent to reduce the deficit.

Withhold funds from the Environmental Protection Agency and give 80 percent of its budget directly to the states. Use the remaining 20 percent to reduce the deficit. Do the same thing with Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Each state already has departments to handle environmental protection and workplace safety.

Since there was no budget for health care reform in years past, there will be no funds in 2011-12.

If the budget still does not balance, institute a national sales tax to meet the shortfall.

Now that the budget is finished, use the rest of the year to overhaul the federal tax code.

Be fair. Everyone should feel the pain. If Republicans do not keep their word on smaller government, lower taxes and a balanced budget, the Republican Party may go the way of the Bull Moose Party and never be heard from again.

Robert W. Schmidt