So, apparently we averted mass chaos and the government can run once more. But then again, I look at all of the wasteful spending done by the government and think to myself, if I was in charge, what would I fund and what would I cut? Being an average ordinary citizen with no political aspirations, I'm not corrupted by special interests, so I can write about what I would do in a perfect world.
So if I had my way, what would be funded by the government? Well, first, everything will be locally funded as much as possible, when it is to big for the city, it is funded by the county, then the state, then federal. Federal should not be funding pet projects.
Military / Defense: It is one area that can't be funded any other way. Of course, it is nice when the big whigs up top decides to invade another country or send us to war, that they do it with the intent of letting us finish the mission. Really is a shame, we are becoming more of a police force and peace keepers across the world then what our primary mission should be, which is defense of our great nation. That said, the military must remain funded, but how we use our military could probably save us a few bucks. Unfortunately, when we go to war, it is usually not funded and has to be paid for later, which was the case with WWII. Also, Police and general security fall under this category as well, though that should be locally funded as much as possible. Don't forget the FBI and CIA, though sometimes you wonder about them.
Infrastructure: This too is the job of the government, to pave roads and maintain public use areas. This is best done as locally as possible, but some of it can be federally funded, specifically freeways and the like across the great plains states.
Social Security: Unfortunately, this boondoggle is here to stay. It needs to be reformed like crazy, because back in the thirties when it was created, people didn't have the lifespans they did and ten workers supported one person on the program because people had a jillion kids back then. After the baby boom of the fifties, birth control came into play and well, now the average family has 2.5 children (though I don't know any average families). Now three workers support one on SS, and they are living a lot longer these days. People have been paying into this program for years, you can't just nix it and tell them 'screw you, bub'. In the long run, it would be nice if society was like it had been before and never introduced this program, as a family unit supports themselves and your children were your social security but that is a thing of the past. This is a safety net and it's not going anywhere. Unfortunately, the program is broke. I'll be honest, I'm not counting on it being there for me.
Public Land/National and State Parks: I'm a big fan of these program, even with it's socialist roots, I know. As long as it remains accessible to the public and cared for (because sometimes the public can be a bunch of assholes and tear things up because they wanted to take a piece of that petrified tree or dump shit everywhere), I love visiting places like Yosemite, Yellow Stone, the Adirondacks, Mt Rushmore, the Redwoods, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Shenandoah Forest, the Smokey Mountains, etc etc. These are our national treasures (and some state treasures too) and in truth, they probably could be privatized but I feel the government is probably the best choice to care for them. I don't mind paying a little fee to go visit them either, because let's be honest, most people don't want you walking around on their private land, even if they've meticulously cared for it. Also, the Smithsonian Rocks. You can keep funding that too.
Border Control: I don't mind immigrants, but dude, come here the legal way. Becoming a citizen is hard work and something people born in this country take for granted. I don't care who you are or where you come from, if you want to be a part of the American dream and earn your right to be a US citizen, I welcome you with open arms. If you just want to come here, mooch off our government, work for a pittance and then collect a welfare check while you use our hospitals and schools and then send the money back home to your family while you hold no allegiance to our land and laws, get the hell out of my country. I don't want you. And the border should be the first enforcement to that.
Schools/ Primary Education : This is an important tasking that gets our children on the right foot in life. Unfortunately, the Teacher's Unions are more concerned about keeping crappy teachers then educating kids properly. This should be funded as close to the local level as possible, get rid of the Department of Education, it has done nothing for our schools and just added to the bloated bureaucracy that is our government. Schools and the teachers need to be held accountable, and Physical Education should be a requirement until graduation.
Welfare: I am not a fan of Welfare, have never been and will never use it if I can help it. Once upon a time there was a shame in being on welfare, but it appears that has gone away and people seem to think it is their right to mooch off of other people, and that really does piss me off. Welfare should be a net to assist people down on their luck to get back on their feet and that's it. This program should be strictly regulated so people do not abuse it. If they need more, charities and churches can provide further assistance, and when able, people often donate to these institutions generously. But I do see a need for a welfare system available in government. This should be a state program, and should work more along the lines of unemployment insurance then a give me.
WIC: in line with the above, this is a fantastic program and I would highly encourage participation.
Environmental and Safety Regulation: I am a believer in the free market, but I also believe in protecting our environment and sometimes business can be greedy and sacrifice health and safety in the name of profit. During the industrial age, people didn't give a lot of thought to what they were doing to the environment with the pollutants and what not. I do believe all businesses do need to have some oversight when it comes to safety and the environment to make sure they do not abuse it. That said, the Environmental Protection Agency needs to back off because it is becoming a joke. Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant, it's tree food.
NASA: Ok, this is a pipe dream project that we have sunk billions into, but it is such an awesome program that spurred countless dreams and has led to so much innovation that I can't help but suggest it needs to continually be funded. if we are going over budget, unfortunately, it is also one of the first on the list to face cuts. I love NASA.
Public Health: caveat, I don't believe the government should be telling everyone how to live their life. However, it can make recommendations, and that includes educating the public on healthy life style choices. Public Health is 90% education and prevention. You prevent somebody from getting sick, it saves a lot of costs in the long run. There is also some lifestyle choices some people make that require some assistance on the part of the government to help in the long run. For instance, STD screenings. Mostly STDs are preventable, but people are people and people are dumb. You know, if you're partner looks a little funky down below, you might not want to get to comfortable with them, but some people don't think about that when they are thinking with their reproductive organs, and some people are absolute whores. That's just one example.
These are some examples of things I would fund if I were in charge of the government. However, there are countless of programs and things that are funded by the government that probably don't need to be. Yes, I am a member of the Tea Party for it's original intent, to downsize the scale of the government and keep spending down. I believe I know how to spend my money better then my congressmen does (though I do admit I got a great Congresswoman) and if my taxes are low, I have more money to spend on things I want to spend them on, to include organizations that are partly subsidized by the government that might not need to be, if people were allowed to choose where to donate their money. Sure, some people would keep all of their money if allowed, but you know, that's their right as well.
I think a lot of things in the government has their hands in needs to be reformed (badly) like healthcare and entitlements and the such, as it is a giant money pot that is eating away at our finances and budget. The intentions may be noble, but the purpose has run it's course. We need to downsize or we're going to go the way of Greece.
Anyway, my thoughts. There might be a few other things I would fund as well if I was ruler of the universe, but what would YOU fund if you had the power to choose?