How to Cut $1 Trillion

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At least it’s a start. While the Congressional “Super Committee” assigned to find $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions surely may butt heads until its deadline Nov. 23, a non-partisan financial study has recommended reductions of more than $1 trillion with appeal across the political divide.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) and the National Taxpayers Union (NPU), although holding widely different views on tax and spending issues, joined to combine their financial know-how to identify programs that both Democrats and Republicans should see as wasteful and inefficient.

Obama has made it even more difficult with his plan to cut more than $3 trillion off the debt. Close to half of the president’s pay-down plan would come from taxes on high–income earners and corporations. Specifically, just those who could help solve the unemployment quagmire. Obama would also cut deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions for those evil high-income earners.

Obama’s petty hatred of petroleum producers and drug companies called for taking $52 billion from oil and gas producers by changing their accounting rules and snatching some $52 billion from pharmaceutical firms.

Federal workers and retirees, along with veterans, would pay more toward their pensions. Air travelers would pay higher fees, which would raise about $25 billion. Stuck on his view of the villainy of corporate jet owners, Obama would have them pay their “fair share” by charging $100 a flight to bring in $16 billion.

Meanwhile, the NPU and the USPIRG put their fingers on 54 specific reductions in federal spending. They included:

  • $214.9 billion in savings by crossing out wasteful subsidies to agribusiness firms and other corporations.
  • $428.8 billion in savings by ending low-priority and unneeded military programs.
  • $232.3 billion in savings from improvements in government operations.
  • $132.1 billion in savings from reforming major entitlement programs.

Study co-author Andrew Moylan, government affairs vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, said that through the din of partisan rancor, “there is actually a large amount of agreement between watchdog groups, both right and left, about where the waste is in the budget.” Co-author Dan Smith, Tax and Budget expert with USPIRG, said, “These recommendations correct years of inside lobbying that has benefited narrow interests…”

“Each recommendation,” the two organization said in their study, includes a ten-year estimate “backed up by such authoritative sources such as the Congressional Budget Office, Government Accountability Office, Office of Management and Budget, or bipartisan working groups.”

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  • crackerjack

    The US is bankrupt. Period. The "saving" mantra may have been viable before Bush and Wall Street crashed the financial system. Waht we now need is a viable bankrupcy agenda and no more political kindergarten.

    Here the naked facts………………….

    * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
    * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
    * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
    * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
    * Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

    Now, remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget.

    * Annual family income: $21,700
    * Money the family spent: $38,200
    * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
    * Outstanding balance on credit card: $142,710 * Total budget cuts: $385

    Kind of brings the issue “home” doesn’t it?

    • 080

      Since the Federal Budget must always be balanced the idea that there is a credit card is misleading. The Feds must have a dollar to spend a dollar. This means that the Fed must here and now raise l.65 trillion from the private sector of the economy. There is no putting it off to the future in a "credit card".

      • crackerjack

        Teaparty nonsense……… the notion that a modern industrial nation can run its financial business like little billy is expected to take care of his pocketmoney is kindergarten economics. In capitalism, the future is financed with debt. Every homeowner knows this. debt is a natural part of the cost of living. debt becomes a problem only when it becomes to expensive.
        If a state can only spend the tax dollar it recieves, it can disband its military, close its schools and let its infrastructure go to waste.

        • tanstaafl

          Oh, little billy has a problem! Let's all close our eyes and pretend that it will go away.

        • Chezwick_mac

          On the contrary, deficits were previously considered exceptional and short-term, to be paid off with the surpluses of better days. The debt we incurred during WW2 is an example of this.

          It was only in the 70s that our deficits became normative…and our debt, structural. Without resolution, it's a recipe for civilizational failure.

  • Chezwick_mac

    "$132.1 billion in savings from reforming major entitlement programs."

    Erm,,,,not quite what one envisions when referring to an actual transformation in the entitlement culture. This is a frigg'n drop in the proverbial bucket.

  • StephenD

    Support only those countries that share in our value of Individual Liberty and Personal Responsibility. When such a country exists, show the rest of the world how much better life can be by supporting them…and them only. Bring the rest of the money home. Domestically, provide welfare programs for those that can't do for themselves; everyone else must either work or go hungry. Secure the border. No Immigration Reform program can work unless and until the border is secure. Fair Tax or at least a Flat Tax where everyone pays the same percentage of their earnings and the removal of ALL loopholes is the only way to go. Let the states take back the responsibility of education. Cut all redundant functions performed by different agencies. TRIM THE FAT like any family would have to do. There are steps we can do across political lines if we have the courage to face the tough choices. Better we decide how and where rather than fate decide for us.

  • mrbean

    In the private sector, it is normal to cut salaries or make layoffs. So if every city, state, and federal employee and retirees, along with every city. state, and elected official and retirees would have a 10% pay cut, I believe we could come up with at least $3 trillion dollars a year in savings. They are all overpaid and would still be overpaid with the 10%salary cut

    • David Race

      They are all overpaid? Retirees?? Really ??? Hmmmm, someone making an absolute statement should have absolute proof. Do you? No. It's just rhethoric, and bad rhetoric at that.

  • Bill

    Your message was a breath of fresh air! Common-sense solutions are what we need, what we've gotten none of from this administration, and you named just about every single one I could have ever thought of! Thanks!

    Wanna run for prez? :)