CAGW Recommendations for Trump Administration's Nickel Plan- DOD

November 1, 2018

The Honorable James N. Mattis
Secretary, Department of Defense
1400 Defense Boulevard
Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Mattis,

During a meeting on October 17, 2018, President Trump directed you and other members of his Cabinet to cut their department budgets by 5 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  With a national debt of more than $21 trillion and the budget deficit soaring to its highest level since 2012, President Trump’s initiative will help to improve fiscal responsibility.

Since 1993, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has annually published Prime Cuts, a comprehensive account of options the federal government possesses to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  The 2018 edition has 636 recommendations that would save $429.8 billion in the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.  Since CAGW was established in 1984 following the release of the Grace Commission report under President Reagan, the implementation of recommendations similar to those in Prime Cuts has helped save taxpayers $1.8 trillion.

I urge you to consider the following recommendations for President Trump’s 5 percent spending cut directive that are included in Prime Cuts 2018, as well as proposed in whole or in part in the President’s Major Savings and Reforms for FYs 2018 and 2019.

  • Reform Inland Waterways Trust Fund financing

       1-Year Savings: $178 million                           5-Year Savings: $890 million

  • Cancel the Littoral Combat Ship program

       1-Year Savings: $1.6 billion                              5-Year Savings: $7.8 billion

  • Defer development of the B-21 Bomber

       1-Year Savings: $1.2 billion                              5-Year Savings: $8.8 billion

  • Reduce funding for low priority studies and construction at the Army Corps of Engineers

       1-Year Savings: $808 million                            5-Year Savings: $4 billion

  • Eliminate earmarks for the F-35 Joint Striker Fighter program

       1-Year Savings: $2.7 billion                              5-Year Savings: $13.4 billion

  • Eliminate funding for the Overseas Contingency Operations account

       1-Year Savings: $65.2 billion                            5-Year Savings: $326 billion

Secretary Mattis, thank you for your efforts to be a responsible steward of the taxpayers’ money.  Your work to fulfill President Trump’s 5 percent cut directive will show taxpayers that your department stands with them in rooting out wasteful spending in the federal government.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CAGW

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