Prime Cuts 2010: Quantifiable Recommendations for Change (We Believe In!) | Citizens Against Government Waste

Prime Cuts 2010: Quantifiable Recommendations for Change (We Believe In!)

The WasteWatcher

President Obama’s January 27th State of the Union Address raised more questions than answers.  While the national debt continues to soar past $12.3 trillion and the unemployment rate hangs at 10 percent, Americans long to hear the President offer some commonsense solutions.  Instead, the President stubbornly clings to his stagnant tax-borrow-and-spend policies.  Taxpayers don’t want to pay for another stimulus package (which will undoubtedly be stuffed with wasteful pork-barrel projects like its predecessor), nor are they fooled by the administration’s attempt to re-label it as a “jobs” bill. 

In an effort to address concerns over the ballooning debt, President Obama proposed a spending freeze that would take effect next year.  Although this freeze has been touted as a well-intentioned step in the right direction, it would save a mere $250 billion over the next ten years, small change compared to the hundreds of billions of bailout dollars spent in the blink of an eye.

The freeze would only affect 17 percent of the total federal budget and would not affect spending on defense, homeland security, veterans affairs, or international affairs…or entitlements…or mandatory programs…or “emergency” spending like the supposed $80 billion “jobs” bill.  That doesn’t sound like a serious freeze to families who are tightening their own belts. 

If President Obama was really determined to cut spending, he would cover everything and provide a list of specific programs and entitlements.  A good place to start that effort would be Citizens Against Government Waste’s 2010 Prime Cuts report, released on January 27, which has 763 recommendations that would save $350 billion in the first year and $2.2 trillion over the next five years.

The 2010 version of Prime Cuts features many vital recommendations, including elimination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP).  The program aims to help agricultural producers promote U.S. products overseas; however, MAP funnels millions of dollars to large corporations.  If eliminated, it would save taxpayers $231 million over five years. 

Also recommended for elimination is the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC).  Created in 1992, the NDIC is Rep. John Murtha’s (D-Pa.) expensive pet project.  The NDIC is an ineffective and wasteful program that costs millions each year, and the Department of Justice has asked Congress to shut the NDIC down because its operations are duplicative.  In addition, prior to the center’s opening in August of 1993, the Government Accountability Office stated it was a waste of money and redundant of efforts to combat drugs in Washington as well as a center on the Mexican border.  Taxpayers would save $220 million over five years if the NDIC was eliminated.

One of the more expensive projects in Prime Cuts 2010 is the New Moon/Mars initiative.  The initiative began as a Bush Administration plan to continue NASA’s exploration of Mars and to return to the Moon by 2020.  The elimination of the New Moon/Mars initiative would save taxpayers $1.5 billion in one year, and $11.5 billion over five years. 

CAGW’s Prime Cuts 2010 can serve as a blueprint to cut government spending and put the nation on a path toward fiscal sanity.  President Obama, Americans have heard enough empty rhetoric to last the remainder of your term.  It’s time to chuck your meager scalpel and pick up a hatchet.   

  -- Erica Gordon

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