The Waste Tax

American taxpayers would like to console themselves at this time of the year that their heard-earned tax dollars are at least going to finance national priorities, like defense, border security, critical infrastructure, and the essential social safety net programs upon which many Americans depend. 

But the shocking reality is that the government squanders a whopping 46 cents of every individual income tax dollar on the wasteful, inefficient, outdated, and duplicative programs documented in Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) Prime Cuts.

Another 31 cents go to pay the $433 billion in annual interest on the national debt.

That leaves just 23 cents – or less than one quarter of every individual income tax dollar –to pay for the services that Americans expect from their government.

CAGW’s Prime Cuts 2015 contains 601 recommendations that would save taxpayers $639 billion in the first year and $2.6 trillion over five years. 

These are politically palatable recommendations to eliminate the most obscene waste that can help break the stalemate over budget cuts between the White House and the Republican-led Congress. They include such commonsense waste-slashing recommendations as reducing Medicare improper payments by 50 percent and selling excess and underutilized federal property.  Prime Cuts 2015 does not call for painful cuts in social programs. 

CAGW is waging a coast-to-coast public relations and outreach campaign to rally millions of Americans to demonstrate an overwhelming public outcry in order to force Congress to act on these cost-cutting recommendations that news outlets like CBS News, The Washington Post, and The Fiscal Times have cited as a “road map for lawmakers looking for places to slash spending.”

CAGW will also be working to put a copy of the $2.6 trillion in Prime Cuts recommendations in the hands of opinion leaders, budget analysts, public officials, news editors, reporters, and local anti-waste activists all across the country.

The support of taxpayers will be crucial if CAGW is going to counter the special interests that benefit from and will defend these wasteful programs and projects at any cost.

As the Washington Examiner’s April 8 editorial on Prime Cuts noted, “It is important to remember that [Washington’s] powerful profiteers are not invincible.  A concerted effort by strong leaders to highlight waste can always go a long way.”

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