Every thousand dollars of budget represents a finite and measurable amount of oil, coal, electricity, and other forms of energy.
The US budget to date has depended on unfettered access to cheap energy - oil, coal, hydroelectric, and to some extent, natural gas.
Other forms, from nuclear to wind and solar power, are forms of energy - but not cheap. Not cheap to build the structures, not cheap to operate. Most forms seem to burn tax dollars to produce energy.
The world faces a change, as the ability to produce expected amounts of oil in a day was passed back in 2005, by some estimates. As demand in the developing world continues to increase, nothing America does to conserve will have an impact - worldwide demand for oil will continue to outpace the ability to produce oil on any given day. Federal expenditures represent energy usage. Fuel used in the course of doing business, energy used to produce vehicles, structures, material and supplies - and to maintain, dispose of, and account for each.
Energy is consumed in the private lives of every government employee - diverting energy from the economy, as well as talents not being used to produce goods and services to maintain the America we have come to know.
A sound, sustainable energy plan has to begin with accepting the energy burden of government employment and government expenditures. The security of the nation demands that we move to a lower-energy economy, and form of government, now - while we still have access to the energy needed to build the structures and infrastructure needed for the future.
The security of the nation has always depended on a strong US economy. While not moribund, today's US economy hasn't yet begun to face a future of restricted access to cheap energy. We risk losing the ability to stand strong in the face of foreign competition.
The federal budget, as monstrous as it has grown, is but the tip of the iceberg. I see no way around the debt deflation facing the nation as the artificial wealth represented in the housing bubble and especially the banking and security shenanigans continue to collapse. Throwing tax dollars (energy and talents diverted from productive use in the economy) at the collapse won't help the nation.
Funding big government is a luxury of the past, that perhaps we never could afford. Today over-spending is a risk of our nation and our way of life.
Compare "Big Government" to an alcoholic, and the federal budget is the bottle. Get the picture?
Tax dollars = energy expended. Government employees have been pulled from the available work force just as if they had moved to a foreign country.
We cannot afford the brain drain or energy expense of big government.