For Immediate Release    Contact:  Jim Campi
May 15, 1998 (202) 467-5300


(Washington, D.C.) – At a briefing this afternoon, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released its 1998 Prime Cuts Catalogue, an annual report of unnecessary, duplicative, and wasteful programs in the federal budget.  Prime Cuts is composed of 564 budget-cutting recommendations that, if implemented, would save taxpayers $1.2 trillion over five years.

Prime Cuts is our answer to the clamor to spend the budget surplus,” remarked CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “With all this fat continuing to bloat the federal budget, Congress shouldn’t be talking about how to spend, but where else to cut.”

The Prime Cuts Summary, an abbreviated, user-friendly version of the Prime Cuts Catalogue, highlights 38 of the catalogue’s most long-standing and achievable recommendations.  Among the programs recommended for elimination in the Prime Cuts Summary are the ever-present Appalachian Regional Commission, the USDA’s Market Access Program, the Commerce Department’s Advanced Technology Program, and the International Space Station.  Termination of the space station alone would save taxpayers $9.3 billion over five years.

“Let there be no misunderstanding – Prime Cuts proves that the era of big government is alive and well,” said Schatz.  “It documents in sordid detail hundreds of unnecessary programs and agencies protected by the special interests in Washington.  Prime Cuts should be required reading for elected officials on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.”

In addition, the Prime Cuts Summary recommends privatizing several government functions, including the antiquated Power Marketing Administrations and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s obsolete research fleet, for a combined savings of nearly $19 billion over five years.  Prime Cuts also suggests repealing the Davis-Bacon Act, which costs taxpayers approximately $196 million each year in inflated federal construction costs.

“There are hundreds of federal programs that are obsolete, mismanaged, wasteful, rife with fraud, and better left to the private sector.  Taken together, they represent an enormous burden on taxpayers.  The only people who will be at risk if these programs disappear are those who habitually feed at the federal trough,” concluded Schatz.

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