Republicans Put Money Where Their Mouth Is

Well we can no longer beat up Republicans for having no suggestions on spending cuts. A Republican study group released an extensive list of proposed cuts to the tune of $2.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years. See the entire list here. What do you think of their suggestions?


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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45 Responses to Republicans Put Money Where Their Mouth Is

  1. shortchain says:

    I looked over the entire list. Not a single cut would produce any jobs — and they don’t even claim it would. Looks like they’ve decided to cut that portion of their agenda and focus instead on social conservatism. What a surprise. Not.

  2. mclever says:

    Return non-defense spending to 2008 levels, hmmm…

    Cut veteran’s programs? Wait a minute, send our young men and women to fight a (trumped-up, ill-advised) war and then cut their benefits when they get home and are injured or no longer able to return to their former place of employment. Brilliant!

    Cut to various scientific research grants and programs? Why, so we can fall farther behind the rest of the world in technology and innovation?

    Cut education funding? Because our schools aren’t doing badly enough yet?

    Cut the arts? My objection to this one is harder to explain on a straight dollar benefit appeal, but a society that doesn’t value art and creativity is a society that’s dying. Art is one of those fields where one can almost never quite make enough to make a living, until about 10 years after you’re dead… If society doesn’t collectively champion new art, then we’d have no new Beethovens, Shakespeares, or Rembrandts…

    Cutting Amtrak subsidies, High Speed Rail grants, and other transit funds? Because more cars on the road is so cost beneficial in the long run…

    There are a couple of cuts that seem smart:

    Cut funding for congressional printing and binding. Cut federal travel budget in half. Cut federal vehicle budget by 20%. Cut federal office space acquisition funds. etc…

  3. mclever says:

    Oh, and as shortchain said, none of these cuts will generate more jobs.

    In fact, many of these cuts will kill jobs.

    Great idea, Republicans!

  4. dcpetterson says:

    $2.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years.

    So that’s $250 billion per year, or about a quarter of our current annual deficit. Not coming anywhere close to solving the issue. While having the economy-killing and job-killing effects mclever lists.

    What a dreadful idea. What a great way to throw us back into recession. While continuing to run up the national debt.

  5. Bart DePalma says:

    :::chuckle:::

    Only a progressive can complain that the GOP cuts are not enough and go too far in the same post.

  6. Bart DePalma says:

    In reality, these cuts are only a long overdue beginning. $250 billion out of $1.4 trillion will not get the job done.

    Cutting spending to match revenues only indirectly affects jobs by freeing up investment capital. That capital will go overseas unles we take a broadsword to regulations, reform taxes and kill off Obamacare because we have descended to the point where other nations offer a better business environment.

    Obama claims to understand this with his meaningless promise to eliminate business and thus job killing regs. The One will carry out his promise to close Gitmo long before he actually deregulates.

  7. Bartbuster says:

    job killing regs

    Actually, I think most of the “job killing regs” are in place to keep the jobs from killing actual people.

    In any case, I’m all for deregulation, as long as the resulting pollution is dumped on your property.

  8. NotImpressed says:

    A lot of the suggested cuts are just typical right wing social agenda items. Cutting NEA, cutting Department of Energy weatherization grants, cutting General Assistance to the District of Columbia, etc. It’s mostly just mean and petty trivia.

    It is partisan and ideological rather than containing any reasoned consideration of what the nation really needs. This is proven by the line item, “Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs.” To put a cheap shot into what is supposed to be a serious policy document shows that these people don’t even take themselves seriously. They’re vindictive ideologues, not rational statesmen. “Never let a crisis go to waste.” They’re using the deficit as an excuse to advance their narrow and destructive right-wing agenda.

  9. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    How about throwing in the DoD?

    Start with this years budget as the baseline. Take 5% of that number. Reduce the DoD budget by THAT number each of the next 4 years for a total of 20% reduction after that time.

    Counting the “overseas contingency operations” the total DoD budget for FY 20111 is $664 Billion. 5% of that is $33.2 Billion. That would be Year 1 savings. Y2 would be $66.4 Billion. Y3, $99.6 Billion. Finally Y4 and subsequent years would yield annual savings of $132.8 Billion.

    That’s MORE THAN HALF in annual cuts that the GOP proposed. Or a total for Y 4 and after of $383 Billion annually.

    Just throwing some numbers around.

  10. Brian says:

    :::chuckle:::

    Only a progressive can complain that the GOP cuts are not enough and go too far in the same post.

    Really? What if Democrats decided to halve DoD spending while doubling Department of Education spending? I’m betting Republicans would be arguing the exact same thing.

    While I do like a lot of these, and think they’re overdue, most of them seem to be arts & science based, or energy/conservation based. Things we pretty much need. I’ll go along with cutting the following:

    ➢ International Fund for Ireland.
    ➢ Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon (possibly, depending on what exactly is cut)
    ➢ Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding.
    ➢ Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half.
    ➢ Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%.
    ➢ Economic Assistance to Egypt. (at least until they have a real democracy)
    ➢ Eliminate Mohair Subsidies
    ➢ No funding for federal office space acquisition. (presuming they’re not talking about national parks and such)

    I would also like to see the DoD budget cut down to a much more manageable number. There’s no reason for the US to have bases in 50 or so countries.

  11. dcpetterson says:

    Max, I like your idea for cutting DoD. We account for almost half of the world’s military spending already. No one else spends more than 1/7 as much as we do. We could divide our defense spending by 6 (drop it down to $110 billion) and still spend more than anyone else. (I’m not suggesting that — I’m simply pointing out the scale of our military spending.)

    The place to start is the anti-ballistic missile systems, and anything related to expanding or modernizing our nuclear forces. We’ll be drawing down our involvement in Afghanistan soon, and that’ll eventually save close to $100 billion / year right there.

  12. Bartbuster says:

    How much do we send to Israel every year to piss all over us? We could save a lot of money there.

  13. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Approximately $3 Billion/yr

  14. I noticed several one-shot deals in their proposal (such as selling surplus property). I have nothing against the idea in a broad sense, but that gets you through one year. It’s sometimes colloquially referred to as “burning the furniture to keep warm.”

    The focus should be primarily on reduction in ongoing costs.

    I’m also rather offended by many of the line items, not necessarily because they should be kept, but because they are so tiny as to be unworthy of being on the list at all. The most egregious example: John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings. Seriously? Less than half a million dollars? Why would anyone care enough to put it on the same list as items half a million percent larger? It represents a whopping 0.0000172% of the total savings. I’ll leave it to you to figure out possible reasons.

  15. Oh, and that Amtrak subsidy…shouldn’t we also get rid of the air travel subsidy? The FAA is asking for nearly $10B this year. Let the airlines pay for it. Why subsidize them?

  16. NotImpressed says:

    Michael Weiss:
    “I’ll leave it to you to figure out possible reasons.”

    As I said, this isn’t a serious budget proposal. It’s a right wing hit list. It is using the deficit as an excuse to push a far right Republican agenda. It has little to do with the budget, and a lot to do with generating campaign ads.

  17. Mr. Universe says:

    I thought there were some absurd things like the Stennis subsidy as well. And we sort of hashed out some of the reasons against cutting defense the other day. The war machine is just too big to stop. Defense contracts are big business, particularly for Republican districts.

    Will agree with NI. No real surprises on this list considering the source.

  18. Number Seven says:

    I find it hard to take seriously anything comming from a group with the oxymoronic name of Republican Study Group. Seriously? Is such a thing like Republican Study even possible?

  19. drfunguy says:

    If we’re getting rid of the Amtrak subsidy, we should consider cutting the federal highway subsidies as well. Its a _lot_ more money and equally justified… 😉
    That is, not at all.

  20. If we’re getting rid of the Amtrak subsidy, we should consider cutting the federal highway subsidies as well. Its a _lot_ more money and equally justified

    I disagree with you on that, at least up to the amount collected as gasoline and diesel taxes. Those taxes are collected for that purpose. The justifications are hardly equal.

  21. Bart DePalma says:

    Brian:

    I am up for cutting all discretionary spending – including defense – back to 2000 levels plus inflation. How about you?

    That will bring us back to the golden years of the Clinton era. What Dem could object? Every single one, I’ll bet.

    That “conservative” Dubya and our present socialist Obama have nearly doubled discretionary spending since 2000. Returning it to 2000 plus inflation would be a 40% plus cut.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/06/federal-spending-by-the-numbers-2010

    Unfortunately, that only gets us a little over half way to balancing the budget. Entitlements have to be next.

    If you want to deal with entitlements with a scalpel and not a hatchet, we need to get government the hell out of the way of business so we can start growing, hiring and paying taxes again. You folks on the left have to choose between your entitlements and your desire to run the economy. The economic destruction of the latter is making it impossible for you to pay for the former.

    Folks, the party is long, long past over. Unless you want to follow the PIGS countries into insolvency oblivion in less than a decade, it is time to grow up and act like adults.

  22. dcpetterson says:

    That will bring us back to the golden years of the Clinton era. What Dem could object?

    If we could un-do all of what Bush and the Republicans did in the eight years after 2000, that would be a reasonable suggestion for you to blart. Give us another six years to finish repairing what your guys broke first.

    See, we had a great car back in 2000. The Republicans borrowed it, ran it in a demolition derby, tore off the fenders, ripped the seatcovers, drive a couple hundred thousand miles and never changed the oil, smashed the headlights, burned out the brakes, slashed the tires, and broke the tapedeck. So here we are, now that we’ve got the car back, we’re trying to spend some money to get the damn thing running again. And the Republicans are telling us it will magically fix itself if we just keep doing what they did for the last eight years, and besides that, we shouldn’t budget more than $1.50 / gallon for gas. Because that’s what it cost back in 2000.

    Does anyone take these bozi seriously?

  23. shiloh says:

    Barted ~ You folks on the left have to choose between your entitlements and your desire to run the economy.

    Not a problem Bartles as you now have legislative giants boehner/cantor/bachmann/blackburn/ryan/joe “you lie” wilson et al to lead you to winger Utopia …

    Indeed, the Rep health care plan, June 2009, was (4) pages long er 3 1/3 pages long w/zero details lol soooo they can easily come up w/an economic plan 2 1/2 pages long, eh. And cutting entitlements is all part of their plan to win more senior votes! Oops!

    Genius, I tell ‘ya.

    Bart, you do realize the current Rep leadership is totally frickin’ clueless ~ of course you do.

    take care, blessings as again, be careful what you wish for …

  24. Number Seven says:

    Bart, you spin a good game.

    If you would call for returning to pre Reagan spending and taxing levels, I would agree with you.

    If you would agree to returning to pre Reagan tarrif levels, I would agree with you.

    You want to pretend that all conservative mistakes were a result of Bush II policies.

    You obviously have no idea of what the Two Santa Theory is and how we have been living it for the last thirty years.

  25. Richard Fee says:

    There are three areas that need to be addressed. Social Security, Medic-stuff, and defense. The problem is that the political will is STILL not there to do what needs to be done. Because:

    1) Liberals need to accept that automatic COLA’s are unsustainable.

    2) Coservatives need to accept that Social Security ought to be viewed as a “true safety net” i.e. means tested with no cap to deductions.

    3) The industrial military complex neither makes us safer nor is a net job creator. Those resources spent elsewhere would provide greater benefit to the country.

    Any politician running on this platform would primaried in either party. Being extreme leads to marginilization; being in the middle leads to roadkill, as the previous election proved.

  26. drfunguy says:

    @Michael Weiss
    “The justifications are hardly equal”
    The most recent year for which I could find a comparison was 2002.
    Federal Highways got 23 billion; Amtrak got 500 million. The estimate I read was that user fees and taxes covered no more than 60% of the cost of highways – still a 9 billion shortfall.
    A billion here, a billion there, soon you’re talking real money.
    But if you read what I wrote, I don’t think we should be cutting transportation infrastructure. “That is, not at all.”
    We could make up a third of the highway deficit by cutting aid to Israel.

  27. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart (and others) is invited back over to the “Fair: Unbalanced” thread and propose a system of taxation to meet the needs of We the People.

    I had proposed a 20% of GDP spending number, but actually that is not necessary. Tax percentages may well be adjusted to met whatever number needed if it was 10% or 25%. The REAL question is HOW to raise revenue.

  28. Bart DePalma says:

    DC: Give us another six years to finish repairing what your guys broke first.

    I’m all in favor of reversing all the Clinton era errors which led to the garbage mortgage crash.

    However, the Obama Administration is leaning towards institutionalizing them by nationalizing Fannie and Freddie to maintain the flow of garbage mortgages to their constituents.

  29. dcpetterson says:

    The biggest errors Clinton made were to continue the Reagan-era deregulation. Other than that, Fannie and Freddie had a relatively small impact on the Bush market crash. What actually caused the crash was unregulated gambling by investment banks who had been allowed to merge with consumer commercial banks.

    Enormous investment securities were created in order to fail, so the creators could profit from betting against them. They were sold as AAA-rated investments by unregulated ratings firms that also were betting against those same vehicles. They were sold to banks that also controlled a huge chuck of the consumer savings and credit markets. When these bad securities collapsed (as they were intended to), it put trillions of consumer credit and savings at risk — the money of consumers who had no control over what their banks were doing with their money, because Reagan (and Clinton, and especially Bush) had deregulated them.

    None of this had anything directly to do with Fannie or Freddie, other than that some of their bad loans were included in the bundled securities. The collapse would have happened even without Fannie and Freddie, because of the general availability of cheap credit. Under Bush, credit was kept easy to get, in order to give the false appearance of a booming economy despite zero growth (or even negative growth) in the income of middle America. Loans were going bad throughout the economy, because so many Americans had maxed out their cards without increasing their wages. The unscrupulous unregulated thieves who put together the designed-to-fail mortgage securities were doing the same thing with consumer credit securities. The collapse would have happened anyway.

    So you can stop blaming the Community Reinvestment Act. We’ve been through this before. Your strawman bogyman scapegoat won’t fly.

  30. filistro says:

    @DC.. Your strawman bogyman scapegoat won’t fly

    But if a strawman bogeyman scapegoat COULD fly… it would be a sight to see up there in the sky, wouldn’t it? 😉

    Of course, as soon as it soared by overhead, Saran Palin would immediately shoot it.

  31. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro — it is quite a picture, isn’t it? A winged strawman bogeyman scapegoat, soaring high above, with Former Half-Governor Palin shooting at it — from a helicopter.

  32. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    As you well know from my prior annotated classes on the subject, congressional statutes granting powers to the regulators and the banking regulators actions created the subprime market and mandated that Fannie and Freddie buy up the resulting toxic mortgages in a secondary market. The Clinton Administration enacted all of this apart from the Bush HUD moving up the percentage of subprime mortgages on Fannie and Freddie’s portfolios from 50% to 55%.

    You are free to cite a single statute removing a regulation of the banks which previously prohibited either writing subprime mortgages or kept Fannie and Freddie from buying them up. You and others here have failed in this in the past because there is no such deregulation.

  33. dcpetterson says:

    No, Bart. I don’t have to address your fantasies because I reject your initial assumptions on the causative factors. You’re asking me to prove that the horns of unicorns are green, when I’m insisting there are no unicorns to begin with; bulldozers knocked over the building, not unicorns.

    So take your game elsewhere. I’m not playing.

  34. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart,

    I notice that you referred to the passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, of the 106th Congress (BOTH Houses of Congress GOP) as the Clinton Administration.

    Do you STILL wish to make your point of the difference between Obama’s favorable ratings vs first two years of the Obama Administration, or are you ready to concede the point?

  35. filistro says:

    @Richard Fee… Being extreme leads to marginilization; being in the middle leads to roadkill, as the previous election proved.

    Very astute. And therein lies Boehner’s insoluble problem. He has to drive three mules… the Tea Party, the socially conservative Republicans, and the independent voters. With each mule kicking at the others and pulling in a different direction… how does Boehner keep his little wagon on the road?

    Answer… he doesn’t. And a spectacular crash is coming his way.

  36. mclever says:

    @filistro,

    Don’t you mean three elephants?

    😉

  37. filistro says:

    mclever… I’ve never been fond of the elephant as symbol of the GOP. Elephants are sturdy, whimsical, kind, loving, and supportive of the group. Mules, on the other hand, are stubborn, ill-tempered, uncooperative and mean. They bite and kick and steal food from their weaker corral mates. The GOP should be represented by the mule.

    I’m not sure what animal would be better representative of the Dems (though I’m inordinately fond of monotremes 😉 )

  38. Mule Rider says:

    “Mules, on the other hand, are stubborn, ill-tempered, uncooperative and mean. They bite and kick and steal food from their weaker corral mates. The GOP should be represented by the mule.”

    😦

  39. dcpetterson says:

    Mule, I can think of no better spokesperson for the Republicans 🙂

    Honestly, if you were active in the national party, it would be a big step up. I truly mean that, and not as anything sarcastic or backhanded. I’m serious.

  40. filistro says:

    @Muley…

    Aha! I woke you up!! 🙂

  41. Bart DePalma says:

    There he goes again.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama will use his State of the Union speech to call for spending cuts to balance the budget while offering yet more government spending to “stimulate” the economy. After two years of three trillion plus dollars in deficit spending and the most massive government repudiation election since 1946, President Obama is back at his old borrow and spend schtick.

    Told ya so.

  42. Monotreme says:

    An animal with a cloaca is a good representative for the Democrats.

  43. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono:

    Pigs at a trough?

  44. shiloh says:

    Barted There he goes again.

    Indeed ~ Obama’s still president and Bartles is still obsessed …

    And Reagan is still dead ~ must be a Saturday! 😛

  45. Monotreme says:

    I was thinking more in terms of trying to pass everything through the same (legislative) hole.

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