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  • An Additional $47 Billion in Spending Cuts for the Continuing Resolution

    House Republicans are now pledging to reduce fiscal year 2011 discretionary spending to $100 billion below President Obama’s original request. As reported, this new budget proposal would:

    • Unwisely reduces security spending by $16 billion relative to President Obama’s request; and
    • Reduce non-security spending by $84 billion relative to President Obama’s request and by $69 billion compared to the 2010 level.

    Rather than stop at $84 billion, lawmakers could seek a full $100 billion reduction in non-security discretionary spending. Defense should be funded at the level proposed in the FY2011 president’s budget. This would bring that spending down to 2005 levels for the final seven months of the fiscal year (and 2008 levels over the full year) and create a new, lower baseline that could save nearly $2 trillion over the decade.

    The House Appropriations Committee has released a partial list of its non-security discretionary spending cuts. Using a recent Heritage Foundation paper specifying larger federal spending cuts, lawmakers could add the following $47 billion in 2011 reductions (with savings listed over seven months):

    • Eliminate business subsidies for the National Institute of Standards and Technology: $104 million
    • Reduce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget to 2008 levels: $433 million
    • Terminate the Minority Development Business Agency: $16 million
    • Eliminate the Economic Development Administration: $287 million
    • Eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program: $2.950 billion
    • Cut House and Senate budget back to 2008 level of $2.2 billion: $174 million
    • Merge all four agriculture outreach and research agencies and cut budget in half: $870 million
    • Cut federal employee travel budget to 50 percent of 2000 level: $5.8 billion
    • Suspend acquisition of federal office space: $580 million
    • Trim 500,000 federal vehicle fleet by 20 percent: $348 million
    • Eliminate grants to the states for Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities: $173 million
    • Eliminate dozens of small, duplicative, irrelevant education grants such as the additional grants for native Hawaiians: $870 million
    • Revise Impact Aid school district aid formula: $29 million
    • Trim Head Start $1.16 billion
    • Scale back the Education Department bureaucracy: $1.16 billion
    • Eliminate Office of English Language Education: $449 million
    • Eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science to Achieve Results Grant Program: $37 million
    • Block grant and devolve EPA grant programs: $348 million
    • Eliminate Health Professions Grants: $240 million
    • Eliminate Maternal and Child Block Grant: $180 million
    • Eliminate National Health Service Corps: $87 million
    • Repeal HRSA Rural Outreach and Development Grants: $57 million
    • Eliminate the East-West Center: $11 million
    • Eliminate the Trade and Development Agency: $32 million
    • Eliminate the International Trade Commission and transfer intellectual property rights oversight to Treasury Department: $39 million
    • Eliminate Democracy Fund: $106 million
    • Eliminate the State Department’s Education and Cultural Exchange Programs: $363 million
    • Eliminate USAID’s Sustainable Development Assistance Program: $1.217 billion
    • Eliminate the Senior Community Service Employment Program: $334 million
    • Eliminate National Science Foundation Spending on Elementary and Secondary Education: $50 million
    • Reduce National Science Foundation to 2008 levels: $847 million
    • Eliminate Army Corps’s Funding for Beach Replenishment Projects: $35 million
    • Eliminate Funding for National Community Service Programs: $427 million
    • Eliminate the State Justice Institute: $2 million
    • Eliminate the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation: $3 million
    • Eliminate the National Capital Planning Commission: $5 million
    • Eliminate the Commission of Fine Arts: $6 million
    • Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts: $71 million
    • Eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities: $75 million
    • Eliminate the Institute of Museum Services and Library Services: $147 million
    • Require Smithsonian Institution to finance 50 percent of costs through user fees: $254 million
    • Eliminate the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation: $278 million
    • Eliminate Grants to Large and Medium-Sized Hub Airports: $585 million
    • Eliminate the Essential Air Service Program: $73 million
    • Privatize Amtrak: $878 million
    • Devolve the Federal Highway Program (and gas tax million and most transit spending to the states: $25.1 billion

    Beyond these additional cuts identified above, one element sorely missing from the continuing resolution is those appropriations included in Obamacare. Adding these could save billions more. Still more savings could be found in all unnecessary non-security spending that has remained unobligated from prior fiscal years (for example those more than 36 months old).

    Federal spending has soared in recent years, driving the budget to economically unstable and harmful levels. Substantive cuts this year are imperative to get spending and deficits down and build momentum for additional spending reforms in 2012.

    Co-authored by Emily Goff.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to An Additional $47 Billion in Spending Cuts for the Continuing Resolution

    1. lex says:

      I'm not sure how these cuts are supposed to help boom the economy… What will happen to those people who use some of these services? Wouldn't cutting these services put them in a worse off place than before? I mean…we are still in a recession, right? I think the last time of this magnitude happened, FDR signed the New Deal and was able to get the economy back on track….which required lots of federal spending…

    2. Bobbie says:

      It's got to happen! The government hasn't been showing anyone the way but to the door of government. These sound practical and will bring back some of our country. The "affordable health care act" has to be removed in it's entirety. Unconstitutional! Lift the frivolous regulations on private insurance companies.

      But anyway…

      The only way we can be seen equal by government is to ban any government program that recognizes us according to our race, creed, culture or gender. This is highly unethical and extremely unconstitutional! It's insulting to be sympathized and catered to only humiliated in regard of. If we want recognition of who we are, it's freedom that lets us do it for ourselves. Should get rid of the term "minority" as we are equally human.

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    7. tom beebe st louis says:

      In the end, we will realize nothing can be spared. The "entitlements" mus get the biggest cuts. This would include Social Security and Medicare (both of which I'm on) plus Medicaid, srate and federal welfare programs, and block grants for everything from student loans (often abused) to agricultural subsidies. Tax reform, eliminating all the loopholes paid for by bribes to congress must be part of the overall reform package. Here's an outline; note it includes a negative income tax for the hardest hit, and exemptions for health care, education and savings (investment), all of which contribute to the growth of the base so tax revenues can increase with lower rates. Take a look:

      TAX AND ENTITLEMENT REFORM

      1. All persons residing in the U.S. shall come together in households for the purpose of reporting all income from any source, each item to be identified by payer's and payee's tax number, and for receipt of federal and state benefits. Members of a household need not be related, need not reside together, and a household may consist of as few as one person.

      2. Each year congress shall set by legislation a "minimum wage" and a "tax rate".

      3. The following income shall not be subject to taxation:

      • An amount equal to a year's earnings at the minimum wage rate, for each adult (age 20-65) member of the household, decreasing 10% per year to 50% at age 15, and increasing 10% per year to 150% at age 70.

      • All payments for what is classified as necessary health care for all members of the household including medical care, any pharmaceuticals prescribed by a recognized health care professional, vision and hearing aids, and membership fees for health-enhancing entities such as gyms or other exercise facilities. Health care insurance premiums may be deducted but not health care expense paid for by such insurance.

      • All educational expenses including day care for young children or legally incompetent persons, that portion of state and local taxes identified as spent on education, that portion of parochial school tuition, fees and other expenses identified as going for non-sectarian education, tuition, fees and educational materials for private school education at any level, and a per-diem allowance for students traveling more than 50 miles from primary residence for education.

      • All income saved into an identified account from which investments may be made. All withdrawals from this account for the benefit of any member of the household shall be reported as income to that member.

      4. The "tax rate" shall be applied to any income over and above the deductions listed above, regardless of amount.

      5. At the request, by legislation duly enacted by any municipality having greater than 100,000 inhabitants or any state, a surtax may be imposed on citizens of that municipality or state which shall be applied in a manner exactly as applied for the Federal tax.

      6. For households whose deductions exceed total income, the Federal Government shall make payment equal to the tax rate multiplied by the shortfall in income, as shall municipalities and states.

      7. There shall be no federal tax on corporations or other business entities.

      8. The Office of Management and Budget shall compute revenues to be expected using the newly set tax rate and minimum wage, applied to the previous year's reported incomes. No expenses in excess of that amount may be authorized or made by the federal government without approval by 75% of each house of Congress.

      Your suggestions sincerely requested. E-mail them to tbeebe6535@yahoo.com.

    8. Kevin H, College Par says:

      Majority of legitimately recognized eocnomists know this is not the time to make major cuts. It's absurd to think while we are slowly pulling ourselves out of the worst recession in decades, we should make such massive cuts. Will do nothing but put the country back into a downward spiral.

      President Obama's budget proposal for 2012 will have a 5 year freeze of domestic discretionary spending, which will bring it to it's lowest level as share of GDP since Dwight Eisenhower. Discretionary spending is not the issue, and never has been the issue – the 4 biggest issues affecting the debt/deficits are health care, tax break, war(s) and economic downturn.

      Anyoen who thinks domestic discretionary spending and earmarks are the problem, needs to open the books and take a look at the numbers and projections.

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    14. Bobbie says:

      "Majority of legitimately recognized eocnomists know this is not the time to make major cuts." Why don't you name them, Kevin? Why do you put so much trust in the president's predictions when none have come true for the better of this country. Are you a glutton for ignorance?

      Cut the waste and put self reliance on the people. If everyone was paying their own way, the country would regain her strength.

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