something like 2/3 of US land
Frankly, we can't worry about "political suicide" any more. The way we are spending, we are on the verge of actual national suicide. The Federal Reserve is talking about bankruptcy as a real possibility. Nationally and internationally, there are signs that faith in the dollar is waning fast. If the dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency of choice, the US economy as we know it will go into a tailspin of hyperinflation. We're at the point where we have to cut, deeply, and across the board, or we'll see a depression that will make the 30s look mild by comparison.
Why even look for specifics? Take the budget from 25 years ago, adjust all numbers for inflation, and use that. Presto!
But since you asked for specifics:
That's just the outright cuts I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure there's plenty more, and still more that could be pared back and reorganized.
5 year old pentium D with 2GB of RAM running XP [...] can't install IE9, which means HTML5 cannot be widely adopted until the majority of the business world installs Firefox.
Fixed that for you.
The example in question could have been remedied easily. What should have happened in this case? FD could have said to homeowner, "You didn't pay your fee (insurance) this year. We will put out the fire, but you will be liable for full costs associated with this. Do you want us to proceed?" I think the FD was stupid for not handling it this way, but that's beside the point I was arguing.
Dude, if you are so petty as to ridicule me for not updating my signature (which has been the same for, oh, maybe six years now) then you need to get a life. And clean up your mouth while you're at it. You've reminded me why I started coming to Slashdot less and less several years ago. This isn't worth my time.
"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to get more wax!!"