The policy brief from the libertarian think tank that promotes climate skepticism—written by Heartland science director Jay Lehr—is something of a dream scenario for tea partiers and other conservatives, who would like a smaller government and a chance to wipe clean EPA’s federal regulations. Lehr writes that “incremental reform of EPA is simply not an option,” hence his proposal for a “Committee of the Whole” made up of state delegates that could slash 80 percent of EPA’s budget.
It’s hardly the first time conservatives have proposed trimming the government with an ax rather than pruning shears. Plenty of departments big and small have found themselves on the hypothetical chopping block for total elimination. Here’s a look at some of the proposals to clear out the Cabinet room.
Note: The buzzkills at the Congressional Budget Office said in a 2013 report that eliminating entire departments may not yield savings. “At best,” CBO wrote, “simply transferring programs to another department might reduce administrative support costs, but in most cases, such costs are much smaller than the costs of direct program activities.”