Best-Ever Ways to Cut Government Spending and Raise New Revenue

by Dom Nozzi

In 2011, there was an agonizing, frantic, contentious debate at the national level to decide how to cut federal spending and raise the debt ceiling. In my view, this effort was a smokescreen, as many glaring untapped revenue sources and bloated budgets were off the table and not open for discussion. The following is my list of best-ever ways to  cut federal spending and raise revenues.

Government, in my view, is not serious about getting its financial house in order if it does not pursue each of these.

  • Cut military spending by at least 75 percent.
  • Cut local government police and fire budgets in most all cities by at least 75 percent.
  • Cut federal, state and local highway widening expenditures by at least 90 percent.
  • End all agricultural subsidies, particularly for corn and beef.
  • End the unconstitutional property tax exemption for churches.
  • End the federal prohibition on marijuana, which would
    raise enormous sums of tax revenues. More broadly, end the war on drugs.
  • Cut federal subsidies for oil and gas industries.
  • Reform entitlements so that the social security retirement age is raised, and Medicare and social security benefits are reduced for relatively wealthy individuals.
  • Increase taxes for the wealthy to at least return such tax rates to those in prior decades.
  • Institute a “Fair Tax,” which would eliminate all taxes except the sales tax, and which would promote retention and expansion of companies/jobs (instead of having such a large number flee to overseas tax havens). This would, in turn, generate enormous new tax revenue from retained and expanded businesses.


I urge you to email me ( or leave a
comment if you have a suggested addition or subtraction from this list. Or if you have any other thoughts about this list.


Each list in this blog contains my own personal opinions based on my personal experiences. I acknowledge that there may be a need to add
or subtract from these lists (or to create a new subject list), and I  welcome such suggestions. The lists are not ordered from higher to lower quality. Each list is a work in progress.

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About Dom Nozzi

Urban designer, Complete Streets instructor, smart growth specialist, town planner, walkable & bikeable streets & trails specialist, writer, editor, speaker, world adventurer, skier, kayaker, SCUBA diver, bicyclist, hiker, dancer, book reader, urbanist. Make my own beer, wine, pasta, bread. Live by the motto that it is the things we do NOT do that we later regret. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest.
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