Rick Perry's mental lapse has lead the news. Videos of the CNBC debate showing his inability to recall all the agencies he would close have led news broadcasts across the country. He has my sympathy; more than once I've had a brain freeze as I tried to remember the perfect word or phrase, or, worst of all, someone's name when I saw them.
However, the question of eliminating Cabinet-level departments or agencies is actually a serious and important one. When the country was founded, there was the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General. That was it. Four individuals reporting to the President. It metastasized into its current form in the twentieth century. While populist thinking would eliminate both the Department of Education and the Department of Energy (both excellent ideas if we are really going to try to repay $15 trillion in debt), I'm now questioning the Department of Housing and Urban Welfare.
One thing we can say about the current economy is that we have plenty of houses. Millions of houses for sale and millions more in foreclosure. If you work for the Department of Housing and Urban Development aka "HUD", what do you do every day? One would hope that they don't show up every day and try to get someone to build more houses.
Sounds like a good place to start if we are going to cut some spending to try to avoid the fate of Greece and Italy.