Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why Not Wack Congressional Pensions While You're At It?

According to Paul Bedard of "Washington Whispers," (a blog? a news site?), House Republicans unrolled a plan to cut about $2.5 trillion in federal spending.  Of course, Obamacare is on the chopping block, and below is Bedard's list of other programs. 

One of the interesting comments from the article was that the states should be picking up the costs of some of these programs.  When I hear stuff like that, I'm torn between laughing and crying.  How ludicrous.  The states are so broke. 

Has anyone bothered to look at the fiscal impact of each of these programs to see what would happen to the economy if these programs disappear?  Or, God forbid, taken a look at the human impact?  I know that's gauche these days.  We care more about balancing the federal checkbook than about human lives.  Hey, I'm not saying that the checkbook is unimportant, but folks, our country isn't in the financial mess we're in solely because of public funded programs.  But that's a different blog.
I can blog about this proposal with relatively calm demeanor because I know the Senate will block these crazy attempts to make good on election promises.  By the way, running bills that you know can't get off the ground is also a waste of public dollars.  These bills all take precious congressional staff time, cost money to print, etc.

But on the other hand, come 2012, several more Democrat seats are in danger, including in the Senate, and who knows what they might really pull off if they get better control over the Senate.  That would give me chills for sure.  Here's the list, per Bedard:

"Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.

Save America's Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.

International Fund for Ireland. $17 million annual savings.

Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.

Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.

Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.

Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.

U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.

Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.

Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.

John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.

Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.

Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.

Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings.

Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.

Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.

Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.

Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.

Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.

New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.

Exchange Programs for Alaska, Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts. $9 million annual savings.

Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.

Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.

Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.

Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.

Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.

Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.

FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.

Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.

Economic Assistance to Egypt. $250 million annually.

U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.

General Assistance to District of Columbia. $210 million annual savings.

Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.

Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.

No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.

End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.

Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.

IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.

Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.

Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten yrs.

Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.

Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.

Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.

Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.

Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.

USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.

Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.

Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.
Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.

Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings.
HUD Ph.D. Program.

Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act."

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