The Blueprint for a Balanced Federal Budget – 2nd ed.


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 original, and a few were borrowed from AmericanSolutions.com; 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 $1.8446805 trillion dollars, i.e. $1844.6805 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 ($ bn)
National Infrastructure Bank [2] 5
Subsidies for the postal service [2] 4,344
The Americorps [2] 1,438
Subsidies for Amtrak [2] 1
Unspent stimulus money [1] 518
Unspent TARP money [1] 368,8
The Federal Transit Administration 5,335
Farm subsidies 57,6
The Dept of commerce minus the bureau of the census [2] 0,586
The Education Department [2] 49,697
The Dept. Of Housing and Urban Development [2] 41,59
The IRS [2] 12,663
The Department of Agriculture [2] 26,661
Bodyguards for ex-presidents and former first ladies 0,024
Subsidies for the CPB [2] 0,466
The Equal Opportunity Commission [2] 0,385
Neighborhood reinvestment corporation [2] 0,167
The NEH [2] 0,171
The US Institute of “Peace” [2] 0,047
50% of the budget of the DOS [2] 28,385
The EPA [2] 10,486
SS savings caused by a hike of the ret. age to 75 [2] 365
The HRSA of the DHHS [2] 7,512
The National Endowment for the Arts [2] 0,161
The Federal Trade Commission [2] 0,175
The war on drugs 77
UN budgetary contribution 0,44
Unneeded federal property 25
The USDOJ’s BATF [2] 1,163
The SA&MH program of the CDC [2] 3,541
The Food and Drug Administration [2] 2,508
Subsidies for Planned Parenthood clinics 0,3367
The International Trade Commission [2] 0,083
TV Marti 0,01
Pork barrel spending 29
DOE rescissions proposed by Tom Coburn [4] 1,3
DHS rescissions proposed by TC [5] 2,2
DOI rescissions proposed by TC [6] 0,6062
DOJ rescissions proposed by TC [7] 1,38
DOL rescissions proposed by TC [8] 0,6791
Saving money annually defrauded from the Medicaid program [9] 120
50% of Congress’s spending on itself [2]

A 50% reduction of the DHS budget minus the rescissions proposed by TC

The National Infrastructure Innovation Program

1,4875

19.3

4

Total spending reduction 1781,7275
The deficit created by Obama 1560
The surplus 212,4275

The total annual spending reduction would be $1844.6805 bn. The FY2011 budget deficit is $ 1560 bn, so the budget surplus would be $284.6805 bn. Such a surplus, if used exclusively to pay America’s debt, would make America debt-free after 43 years – by FY2053.

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, the 50,000 vacant homes owned by the Federal Government, and all unneeded federal property (collectively worth $83 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). An additional spending reduction could be made by restoring the 1996 welfare roll reform legislation, by denying all federal, state, county and city benefits to illegal aliens and their children (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/08/the_fiscal_burden_of_educating.html), by abolishing all dysfunctional federal housing programs (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/04/64_government_housing_programs.html) and by reducing the limit of the period during which a person can receive welfare rolls from 5 years to 3 years (http://www.megwhitman.com/platform_sub_topic.php?type=spending&id=638&page=6). Significant savings could also be made by replacing only 50% of retiring federal workers,  streamlining the structure of the federal government, reducing the number of contractors, and halving the number of presidential appointees (as recommended by Paul Light – http://thecynicaleconomist.com/?p=14522). Government printing costs should be reduced by half (from $4 bn per year to $2 bn per year). All federal pregnancy prevention programs and child development programs should be consolidated (most of them should be abolished, however). The SCHIP program should be abolished. 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.

The US government should eliminate expenditures #1, 2, 3,  6, 7, 13, 15, 22, 26, 31, 34, 35, and 47. (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/10/50-Examples-of-Government-Waste)

The US government should sell all of its unneeded property (whose value is $83.8 bn) and all of the 50,000 vacant homes that it owns. (http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ConstituentServices.PorkBusters; http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/10/50-Examples-of-Government-Waste).

All tax credits and all subsidies for ethanol (which cost $6 bn – $7 bn per year) should be abolished. (http://spectator.org/archives/2010/08/27/corny-capitalism)

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

[10] http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/10/50-Examples-of-Government-Waste

*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) This is the 3rd edition – an updated, amended and expanded version of the original Blueprint.

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