• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • What Real Spending Cuts Look Like

    Last week, House Republicans identified a list of $69 billion worth of spending cuts over five years. This might sound good, but in actuality it spends 99% as much as President Obama this year, and 97% as much as the president over the next five years. At The Corner, Heritage fellow Brian Riedl lays out some more aggressive steps conservatives could take to control exploding Washington spending:

    It’s easiest to start with the most blatant waste: $55 billion in annual program overpayments; $25 billion in unused federal property; $17 billion in annual earmarks; $123 billion for programs for which government auditors can find no evidence of success; and $140 billion in potential budget savings identified by the Congressional Budget Office.

    They should then move onto large reforms, including:

    • Eliminating the $60 billion spent annually on corporate welfare programs.
    • Reducing farm subsidies for large and profitable agribusinesses, which actually worsen the farm economy.
    • Devolving functions like highways, economic development, education, housing, and anti-poverty programs to state and local governments that are closest to the people. This would eliminate the expensive Washington middleman, and tailoring local programs to local needs (while eliminating failed programs) would surely save tax dollars. Given the unpopularity of Washington, this should be a no-brainer.
    • Most importantly, addressing Social Security and Medicare, which would otherwise require a doubling of all current tax rates. A logical place to start would be a progressive indexing of Social Security benefits for upper-income seniors and also stopping over-subsidizing the Medicare B and D premiums for upper-income seniors.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to What Real Spending Cuts Look Like

    1. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      Democrats tend to be incapable of real spending cuts. As we have seen in California, Democrats have built their careers around the illusion that they can provide services to voters and compel others to pay for it. Now, the California chickens have come home to roost. The CA government has about 50 days worth of cash before Obama is asked to bail them out. This is a horrible grade B movie theme, but in CA, it is real ( for a review of "California Screaming" you can visit: http://firstconservative.com/blog/political-humor… )

      Real spending cuts are the only way to balance one's budget. this is true from the individual level through to the federal level.

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I could not agree more with Conn's suggestion as follows.

      "Devolving functions like highways, economic development, education, housing, and anti-poverty programs to state and local governments that are closest to the people."

      I'll add that all federal entitlement funds need to be returned to each resident's home state. And that these states implement individual accounts that would be transferable per a person's stated residence. The U.S. Congress then needs to ensure that the federal government remains focused only on national defense, forever blocking their direct involvement in private industry and state controlled infrastructure, entitlement and welfare programs.

    3. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 06/12/09 NoisyRoom.net: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the face of tyranny is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

    4. Patrick Columbus Ohi says:

      Americans today are frustrated. The political choices they are offered give them no real choice at all. For all their talk of "change," neither major political party as presently constituted challenges the status quo in any serious way. Neither treats the Constitution with anything but contempt. Neither offers any kind of change in monetary policy. Neither wants to make the reductions in government that our crushing debt burden demands. Neither talks about bringing American troops home not just from Iraq but from around the world. Our country is going bankrupt, and none of these sensible proposals are even on the table.

      This destructive bipartisan consensus has suffocated American political life for many years. Anyone who tries to ask fundamental questions instead of cosmetic ones is ridiculed or ignored.

      That is why the Campaign for Liberty was established: to highlight the neglected but common-sense principles we champion and reinsert them into the American political conversation.

      http://www.campaignforliberty.com

    5. Barb -mn says:

      Mr. president, we all breath the same air. Let go of our hands and let us all walk on our own two feet. Entitlements are for those that earn them, that is the elderly.

      Welfare is so corrupt and abused. Recently there was a complaint that there was no "culturally appropriate" food at the "food shelves." Food shelves are for desperation, not accommodation! The same people get food subsidies (government debit card), free school breakfast and lunch, and live off the land.

      Cut government salaries and remove all amenities.

    6. J.S. Dallas, III, Wi says:

      We need a constitutional amendment with a 12 year term limit for both Senators and Congressman.

    7. Evan in Anchorage says:

      I can't believe HF said cut corporate welfare and farm subsides. It is about time. This is so unlike HF. For the first time doing what is the right thing instead of just saying cutting taxes to well off and cutting spending to the poor.

    8. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      The dems do not know what real life is, they only want to spend our money. They are determined to give away as much as possible and therefore keep them in "power".

    9. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      There are never any proposals that are detailed enough to identify the winners and losers and just how much the losers stand to lose. Without that the opponents can easily mount opposition to a change by those concerned that they may be hurt. That is, by the way, a good indication that the feds are into too many things that are the business of the state. Think of all the special interests at the fed level that are providing information that is designed to favor the interest, not the people (yes, sometimes both interests are the same).

    10. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Either we take the initiative to cut the federal budget drastically to bring back America that thrived or we will end up with a third world standard of living. Let us take the initiative and cut the federal government to its Constitutional limits which will mean no more than 10% of the GDP with a concrete plan to pay down the trillions of debt.

    11. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      There are very few real entitlements. One, the Veterans who have served our Nation and risked their lives in War. Two, the Elderly who have earned the respect of their communities Nation and Families, through work and service. Three, childred, the innocent Americans born here that need the QUALITY Education that all other Industrialized Nations provide their young, in order to compete for a livelihood.

      That's it, just three. No more forth and fifth Welfare generations. No more free educations just because you happen to be a member of what Congress considers a minority. No more Illegal Aliens, period, except for the children born in this Nation. They stay, they are Americans. We are all Americans, so no more African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, et al, except for those who have immegrated to this Nation and gone through the process and became Americans. This ends, stops, cancells, all Government quotas, programs, employees figuring out these quotas and programs, no more special funding or special schools, except for the Blind, or the Deaf! They are American also, but they really do need special help!

      No more government aides for our Senators and our Representatives! They need help, let them get volunteers, or do it themselves! All Representatives, Seators, Governors, and even the President, do not get "SPECIAL" RETIREMENT! They just get plain old Social Security, like you and me and every other American. They should all be paid according to the average wage of the people that they represent!

      All senators, Representatives, Governors and even the President get one or two weeks of travel time outside of Washington DC. That's it. We live in an age of finite communication. You can see everyone you are talking with with them all scattered around the World!

      Jails, Prision, no more TV's, no more wieght rooms, no more jogging tracts, no more computers, just your six by eight cell, and one book, one cold meal, and one hot meal per day. Doesn't matter what your Religion is, you didn't consider your victims. Doesn't matter your allergies either, you stole from old people who couldn't buy the medicine they needed to lve! You work eight hours a day, doing something! You get to write one letter a week, that we pay for. You receive one letter a week, unless your behavior warrents more. No radios, no music.

      I think right about here we have already saved a few Trillion, and upset a Hell of a lot of congressional people, tree and bunny huggers, but heck, they don't really pay for any of this stuff anyway, do they? Better to be the solution, than the problem.

      Hozro

    12. mike baker Dallas C says:

      More than half of the HF pieces I send to friends or post on Facebook are from 'Conn Carroll'. Strange? This isn't meant for posting, neccesarily, just wanted to finally say that. I don't find out who wrote them until after I've decided to share it. thanks,mb

    13. Barb -mn says:

      correction:

      Entitlements are for those that earn them, that is the elderly and military. I don't agree children in general, are entitled.

      People have to be held accountable to the results of their choices of actions,ALL PEOPLE, ALL CHOICES, ALL ACTIONS! Obama wants to scale that down to put on the people of his choice, ONLY.

      Parentless children to be entitled, but not children in general.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×