Embargoed for Release Contact: Jim Campi
June 8, 1999 at 11:00 a.m. (202) 467-5300


(Washington, D.C.) – At a Capitol Hill news conference today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), America’s largest taxpayer watchdog group, released its annual report of unnecessary and ineffective programs in the federal budget.  The report, entitled Prime Cuts, is a compendium of budget-cutting options that, if implemented, would save taxpayers $1.2 trillion over five years.

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

Joining Schatz at the news conference was House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich (R-Ohio).  Kasich, a recipient of CAGW’s “Taxpayer Hero” Award, noted, “At a time when everyone is concerned about the ability of Congress to stay within the spending caps set in the Balanced Budget Agreement, CAGW’s Prime Cuts gives us an excellent starting point for determining how government should – and should not – spend the people’s money.”

Among the budget-cutting options cataloged in Prime Cuts are the Advanced Technology Program, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency.  Termination of these three programs alone would save taxpayers more than $2 billion over five years.

“Let there be no misunderstanding – Prime Cuts proves that the era of big government is still alive and well,” said Schatz.  “It documents in sordid detail unnecessary and ineffective programs protected by the special interests in Washington.”

Prime Cuts 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 is costing taxpayers millions each year in inflated federal construction costs.

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

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