Received a call from Senator John Thune's office last Friday. A young sounding and fast talking staffer told me the Senator likes a couple of my suggestions for reducing federal spending. Rather than crying to maintain every program, I think we should start small, by eliminating things which can and should be done at the local level.

On Jan 14th, I posted a story and commentary on my three ideas. Followed up with an email to the Senator in response to his recent town hall meetings, and again when he was on Viewpoint University Feb. 21st.

Briefly, here are my suggestions:  Eliminate the Feds paying for the hiring and training of local law enforcement employees. If local units of government want more cops for protection of local people, the money should be provided locally, not by people living in Detroit or Denver. Next, eliminate the federal funding of local health planning grants. It is our responsibility to plan and work plans for healthier people in our region. The feds can offer advice, but we should pay for it. Finally, eliminate the federal subsidy of tree planting. This program goes back to FDR, during the dust bowl days. It has served, its purpose. Today, conservation tillage, terracing, wetland and CRP preservation have eliminated the need. Many farmers have taken out shelter belts, because trees soak up a lot of water, and every square foot of planting makes a difference.  If a farmer wants shelter belts as part of their "good stewardship" by all means, plant as many as they want.  Better methods of holding the soil in place exist today. As much as I love trees, this program should end.

According to the Senator's staff person, the Senator likes my first two ideas. He doesn't like the third. I'm hitting two for three on money saving suggestions. In baseball my batting average would be .666. That's better than what members of Congress and  President Obama have done to reduce the deficit.

"Put me in Coach, I'm ready to play."