Blueprint For A Balanced Budget – an updated version


Below is an updated, significantly expanded version of my Blueprint For A Balanced Budget. Since the first edition was published on March 7th, 2010, I’ve added several proposals (some are mine, some were made by others).

So, here it is:

The deficit of the FY2011 United States Federal Budget – $1.56 trillion – will be the biggest budgetary deficit ever.

Several conservative commentators have already presented their proposals on how to reduce federal spending. Admirably, these proposals do not postulate a reduction of defense spending nor the closure of any defense programs.

But unfortunately, some libertarian organizations, such as the misnamed group “Citizens Against Government Waste”, called on President Obama and the Congress to balance the budget on the backs of American soldiers – i.e. to significantly cut government spending. Liberal groups, such as the CAP, agree with the CAGW.

We conservatives oppose all weapon program cuts and all weapon cuts. Moreover, the federal budget can be balanced even if Obama doesn’t reduce the DOD’s budget. That is why this policy blueprint was crafted – to reconcile a balanced federal budget with an appropriately-sized DOD budget and a strong US military.

My proposal is that the US government should reduce only civilian spending – but reduce it to such a degree that would allow it to balance the budget. Most of these proposals are mine, though several were borrowed from AmericanSolutions.com, Newt Gingrich and Senator Tom Coburn; some of the below proposals are big, others are not. They target various agencies and programs, but they all target those programs that are unnecessary.

Unlike the balanced budget plan of the Republican Study Committee, this Blueprint would reduce the budget by FY2011, not by FY2019.

The total spending reductions would amount to $1.56377 trillion dollars, i.e. $1563.77 billion dollars, which would be enough to balance the budget during FY2011. The specific proposals, from huge budget reductions to minor savings, are as follows (the asterisks denote the sources for the numbers):

Expenditure that should be abolished Saving ($ billion)
Unspent stimulus money [1] 518
Unspent TARP money [1] 368.8
SS savings caused by a hike of the retirement age to 75 (thus halving the cost of the SS) [2] 348
Farm subsidies authorized by the 2008 FB 57.6
The USDOT [2] 57.542
The Education Department [2] 46.686
The Dept. Of Housing and Urban Development [2] 42.721
The Department of Agriculture [2] 25.661
The IRS [2] 12
50% of the budget of the DOS [2] 13.7
The EPA [2] 10.486
The HRSA of the DHHS [2] 7.127
The “National Infrastructure Bank” [2] 5
Subsidies for the postal service [2] 3.776
Subsidies for Amtrak [2] 1
The Americorps [2] 1
Subsidies for the CPB [2] 0.481
Subsidies for the equal opportunity commission [2] 0.367
The Nat’l Endowment for Humanities 0.171
Subsidies for the NRC [2] 0.167
The Nat’l Endowment for the Arts [2] 0.161
The Federal Trade Commission [2] 0.158
The US Institute of “Peace” [2] 0.049
UN contribution [3] 0.440
The budget of the DOC [2]* 7.735
The war on drugs 77
The USDOJ’s BATF 1.121
The SA&MHS program of the CDC 3.394
The FDASubsidies for Planned Parenthood clinicsThe International Trade CommissionTV MartiPork barrel spendingDOE rescissions proposed by Tom Coburn [4]

DHS rescissions proposed by TC [5]

DOI rescissions proposed by TC [6]

DOJ rescissions proposed by TC [7]

DOL rescissions proposed by TC [8]

Saving money annually defrauded from the Medicaid program [9]

50% of the budget of the Congress [2]

2.3530.33670.0830.01291.3

2.2

0.6062

1.38

0.6791

120

1.7

The total annual spending reduction would be $1770.020 bn. The FY2011 budget deficit is $ 1560 bn, so the budget surplus would be $210.020 bn.

Please note that the abolition of the IRS would be the result of the FairTax Act, legislation that I support.

As a final note: significant revenue could be raised for the government even if SS program costs were not halved, by privatizing Amtrak, the US Postal Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, GM, GMAC, the CPB and other Government-Owned Enterprises, as well as federal lands and unneeded federal property ($25 billion). Additional revenue could be raised by permitting oil corporations to drill for oil and natural gas in the ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf and the Rocky Mountains. Certain savings would also be made if the federal government was computerized and adjusted to the information age (http://newt.org/tabid/102/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2835/Default.aspx). But entitlement programs are growing on autopilot, and they will eventually bury American children under a mountain of debt, unless their costs are significantly reduced; hence, such a cost reduction was included in this Blueprint.

All figures in this article are for FY2010 unless otherwise noted.

The sources (denoted in square brackets):

[1] http://www.americansolutions.com/economy/2010/02/sampling-of-deficit-reduction-measures.php

[2] http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations#Funding

[4] http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=b18906fd-7c58-4dc0-b535-e3dcd5106758

[5] http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=73d3d2c0-0db1-4806-a686-491b8ca97f1a

[6] http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=7dbc4b34-4c68-4c73-b9dd-2a188b6060f9

[7] http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=e29a3472-3703-40d7-b8f9-b088ee145a5f

[8] http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=be60cc13-5107-42a5-9e07-f83f79b0bbf3

[9] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQWWuEo3H30 – 6:07

*Note: The US government should abolish the entire Department of Commerce except the NIST and the US Census Bureau, which should be maintained.

Originally posted at TRC. (http://www.therealitycheck.org/?p=12105) Updated and expanded on April 6th, 2010.

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