The Budgetary Implications of Eliminating a Cabinet Department

The past few decades have seen various proposals to eliminate one or more Cabinet departments. One of the goals of those proposals has been to terminate activities thought to be better performed by state and local governments or the private sector; another has been to increase programs’ effectiveness through reorganization. This chapter focuses on a third goal: achieving budgetary savings. How much could be saved by shuttering one of the 15 current departments depends crucially on whether its programs would be terminated or transferred to a new department or agency—and, if they were transferred, on whether they would continue in altered form or without significant change. In general, achieving substantial savings would require eliminating or significantly reducing programs, perhaps in some of the ways discussed throughout this volume of budget options.

Options (excluding health-related options)