The way to get to a small fraction of what the Central Government spends today is to ask local communities to take care of their own. And not cycle tax dollars from the citizen to the center and then back down again. When we open today’s cash box all we see are transfer payments and intergenerational IOUs. We don’t have to do this. There’s nothing pertaining to domestic needs that a community of around 300,000 cannot do for themselves, where this local government behavior will be disciplined by competing with other communities for the favor of their citizens and the citizen’s enterprise. This includes managing all taxes and disbursements, negotiating compacts with other communities for common needs, and tithing a small percentage of their tax collection to a federal government for the common defense.
Better the local community look after their indigent, criminal, crazy, sick, abandoned old and young than some far-remote power. Where the individual and family are not able to be responsible, who better than your neighbors to decide how to help (and insure a sense of personal obligation to achieve adulthood and personal responsibility)?
And if certain San Francisco neighborhoods choose to establish utopian communes, so be it, and if they are wildly successful, others will copy their model. But these neighborhoods won’t be able to dictate to the central valley their farming and water practices, nor v.v. The ability for citizens’ and their enterprise to vote with their feet will end the silliness quickly. A special interest is no longer special if 1,000 (near as) sovereign (as EC states) each have to be convinced in turn to support it. Granted, it’d be great if states filled this role, but many large states have become equally corrupt in denying the local community their responsibility and burden of self-government. So it’s time to reorganize back to jurisdictions of the same size of the largest of the Founders’ states.
When we find the cash-box empty save for political promises, we need to apologize for our stupidity in ignoring the Founders’ advice and begin again. The good news is our current government is still stuck in industrial-age processes dating from the 1800s. Business dramatically decentralized and disaggregated itself in the 70s and 80s because cheap information technology and networks removed the need for command and control and allowed those parts of the business that touched the customer to drive the enterprise. Same can happen today with a 21st century governance. Which need never again fear a decapitation strike, either by the all-encompassing corruption we see today, or by a real-world enemy.