By Ian Tartt
President Donald Trump has stirred up a lot of discussion with his recent budget proposal. Whether you love it, hate it, or are somewhere in between, here are some cuts that would leave you paying less in taxes and living with more freedom than you currently have.
1. Corporate Welfare
Corporate welfare is cronyism at its finest. It’s a way to reward businessmen that help politicians win elections and costs taxpayers between $92 billion and $100 billion each year. Further, corporate welfare in the form of subsidies to failing businesses ties up capital in unproductive enterprises instead of letting those businesses go under and free up those resources so that more productive people can make good use of them. By ending corporate welfare, you will no longer have to support inefficient or corrupt businesses, the loss of those businesses will create more opportunities for efficient businesses to rise up and offer better products at lower prices, and the union between corporation and state will be weakened.
2. Farm Subsidies
Similarly to corporate welfare, farm subsidies allow politicians to pander to farmers in the hopes of gaining their votes. Two common ways farm subsidies are used are to raise the price of farm products by paying farmers to produce less than they normally would or to lower the price of farm products by paying farmers to produce more than they normally would. The annual cost taxpayers have to bear for this intervention is $20 billion. If farm subsidies are eliminated, you will pay less for farm products that are currently being kept artificially high, prices of farm products will be more stable, and politicians will no longer be able to easily win farmers over to their side at the expense of the taxpayers.
3. War on Drugs
While it has failed at stopping drug use, the War on Drugs has succeeded in putting countless peaceful people behind bars and wasting massive amounts of money. This second attempt at prohibition costs taxpayers $15 billion a year in federal spending alone and has resulted in more than $1 trillion spent on this issue since President Richard Nixon first declared war in 1971. Like alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition has given power to black market drug dealers, gangs, and cartels, prevented police from as effectively going after violent criminals as they otherwise could, and made life much more dangerous for the average person. If the War on Drugs is ended, you and your loved ones will be less likely to be hurt by a drug gang, police will be better able to go after violent criminals such as murderers and rapists, you or someone you care about will no longer be at risk of going to prison if you get caught with certain drugs, the prisons will have more room for violent criminals, and no longer will your house, car, or other property be subjected to seizure or invasion because of some anonymous tip that you were in possession of drugs.
4. Selective Service
Under current law, almost every man living in the US born in 1960 or after is required to register with the Selective Service System within thirty days of his eighteenth birthday. This system is designed to facilitate the induction of men into the military should the draft be reinstated. Some have argued that the requirement to register is a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment since only men are required to register. Considering that the US has had an all-volunteer military since the draft was last used in 1973, many believe that Selective Service is unnecessary. The annual cost of maintaining the system is almost $23 million. If Selective Service is eliminated, no longer will you or someone close to you be at risk of being made to fight in a war you oppose, a government program that’s never been put to full use will no longer have to be funded, and everyone will be treated a bit more equally under the law.