George H. Blackford, Ph.D.

 Economist at Large

 Email: george(at)


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.

Itís what you know for sure that just ain't so.
Attributed to Mark Twain (among others)



Economic Papers
Political Essays

Understanding The Federal Budget

Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusions*

Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusion explains why eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal budget cannot solve our deficit and debt problems and that if we are to solve these problems we must either a) raise taxes or b) make substantial cuts in defense and our federal retirement and medical programs, specifically, Social Security and Medicare. The only alternative is to cut the rest of the budget which will decimate our social safety net and make it impossible for the government to provide the essential services and benefits that only government can provide: an effective national defense; a fair and just legal and criminal justice system; quality public education; effective public health programs; efficient streets, roads, highways, and other forms of public transportation; a clean and safe environment; safe foods, drugs, and other consumer products; safe working conditions; an effective and efficient personal healthcare system; a viable social-insurance system; and a stable, growing economy.

These services and benefits cannot be provided by private enterprise guided by the profit motive. They can only be provided by a democratically elected government whose elected officials are dedicated to achieving these ends. And they most definitely cannot be provided by elected officials whose sole objective is to cut taxes and, thereby, defund the government programs that are designed to provide these services and benefits.

See: Understanding The Federal Budget: (2013) (2014) at or click here for a preview.

*This chapter was formally Chapter 16 in Where Did All The Money Go?