Thanks to Joe for pointing out the continuing profligacy of US government spending, in particular on defense. I would also add that we could get rid of the failed/untested missle defense system. The Bush administration has already spent some $30 billion on this with more increases in spending requested. As Joe points out, however, who would be opposed to spending more money on the security of our nation? Worded as such, the answer is obvious. The problem of course is that government spending seems completely dissociated from the individual American. If Congress spends an additional $50 billion on defense, do I notice its impact on me? Perhaps a program elsewhere will be cut (in the ideal world) or perhaps the continuing debt will destabilize the dollar and eventually the economy. Yet I will have difficulty drawing the connection between the two. We need some mechanism to tie the effects of government spending to the individual American. If you raise my gas price by 10 cents per gallon, I would probably take notice. It is wishful thinking on my part that such an obvious link would ever be made by Congress or that they might impose spending restrictions (e.g. tying budget increases to inflation).
In the bigger picture, I worry about the ever increasing cost and size of our government. It reminds me of Windows and the ever-increasing amounts of code added without simplifying the existing code first. Inefficiency and waste only grow in this scenario. Are we reaching a point where government operations become compromised by their own complexity?