CAGW Recommendations for Trump Administration's Nickel Plan- DOT | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Recommendations for Trump Administration's Nickel Plan- DOT

Agency Comments

November 1, 2018

The Honorable Elaine Chao
Secretary, Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Secretary Chao,

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.

  • Limit funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants (New Starts) program to projects with existing full funding grant agreements only

            1-Year Savings: $1.4 billion                              5-Year Savings: $7.1 billion

  • Eliminate funding for the unauthorized TIGER discretionary grant program

            1-Year Savings: $500 million                            5-Year Savings: $2.5 billion

  • Reinstate Railroad Safety User Fee

            1-Year Savings: $50 million                              5-Year Savings: $250 million

  • Eliminate funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s grant programs

            1-Year Savings: $234 million                            5-Year Savings: $1.2 billion

Secretary Chao, 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.


Tom Schatz
President, CAGW

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