From the American Spectator, concrete ways to start digging out of the hole both Republicans and Democrats politicians have dug for all of us.
Congress left town without passing a budget; the country kept losing jobs during "Recovery Summer;" and President Obama admitted there are no such things as "shovel ready" projects-but the excessive spending by the federal government continues.
ISSUE-IN-BRIEF: Listed below are 10 specific spending cuts that Congress can get to work on when it returns. Many, many more spending cuts have been recommended by a variety of budget experts-but here is a start:
1. Repeal ObamaCare
Save taxpayers over $1 trillion dollars.
Only six months after implementation, the new health care law has proven to be a bureaucratic nightmare that has already raised insurance premiums and forced some insurers to cancel coverage plans. A clear majority of the American people have made it clear that they oppose this unconstitutional law that diminishes the quality of health care while increasing its cost.
2. Completely End TARP
Save taxpayers roughly $16 billion. [ii]
All banks should face the consequences of their actions. Taxpayers should not be forced to bailout banks that engaged in risky behavior. By canceling TARP once and for all, taxpayers will be saved billions of dollars.
3. Reduce Government Employment to 2008 Levels
Save taxpayers $35 billion over the next 10 years.
Since 2008, federal government employment has grown by 188,000 (excluding temporary Census workers.) Meanwhile, the private sector has lost over 7.9 million jobs. [iii] Taxpayers in the private sector cannot afford to pay for the excessive number of government employees that do not perform necessary functions of government. The federal government should institute policies to reduce the workforce to 2008 levels.
4. Freeze Federal Pay
A pay freeze would save taxpayers $5 billion annually. With benefits included, the average federal government employee is paid $123,049--while the average private sector employee receives only $61,051 annually. After adjusting for inflation, federal employee wages increased 36.9 percent while private sector wages rose only 8.8 percent since 2000.= In order to restore fiscal sanity, the number of federal government employees should be frozen until the budget is balanced.
5. Sell Excess Federal Property
Save taxpayers up to $15 billion.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, the federal government is holding on to $18 billion in property that it does not need. Requiring the federal government to sell excessive property could potentially save taxpayers billions of dollars.
6. End Tax-Payer Funding and Subsidizing for Abortions Domestically & Overseas
Save Taxpayers $739 million
President Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy, allowing tax dollars to flow to groups that promote abortion under the category of International Family Planning. In FY 2010 $648.5 million was appropriated for this effort. Additionally, in FY 2009 federal funds were awarded to well known abortion advocacy organizations such as the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, SEICUS, and the Population Council.
7. Privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Reforming Fannie and Freddie Mac could save taxpayers at least $30 billion. So far, taxpayers have been forced to spend $145 billion to bailout the irresponsible actions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Action must be taken immediately to privatize the current government sponsored mortgage-backing companies. If Congress delays reforming Fannie and Freddie Mac, taxpayers will likely be on the hook for billions more dollars.
8. Eliminate Subsidies for Amtrak
Save taxpayers $202 million a year. Despite the fact that the majority of trains remain fairly empty, government-run Amtrak runs an abundance of trains daily. In fact, Amtrak actually loses money on most of its train routes. Taxpayers are forced to pay $32 per Amtrak passenger to make up for these losses. Yet riders still complain regularly about spotty Amtrak service and frequent delays. The private sector could likely provide a better quality train service at a lower cost.
9. End Energy Subsidies
Save taxpayers $20 billion a year. Over the last 30 years, energy subsidies have failed to produce any promising results. The private sector is fully capable of investing in energy technology. Unfortunately, government subsidies have crowded out private investment in energy. While it may take some time, the private sector has already begun to produce more efficient energy sources.
10. Reduce Federal Farm Subsidies
Completely ending the peanut & sugar subsidies would save taxpayers $1.3 billion annually. Federal farm subsidies are America's largest corporate welfare program costing taxpayers more than $245.2 billion since 1995. Despite the claims that farm subsidies go to struggling family farmers, two-thirds of farm subsidy checks go to the wealthiest 10 percent of farmers. It is hard to justify that taxpayers should be forced to pay for the hobby farms of rich celebrities such as David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, or Scottie Pippen.
Polls are officially open in Texas for early voting today
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