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Pennies, Not Dollars

The Obama administration has "scoured" the $3.4 trillion Federal Budget looking for savings and programs to cut.  Their search has found $17 billion in savings.  The Washington Post Reported:

The plan is less ambitious than the hit list former president George W. Bush produced last year, targeting 151 programs for $34 billion in savings. And like most of the cuts Bush sought, congressional sources and independent budget analysts yesterday predicted that Obama's, too, would be a tough sell.

"Even if you got all of those things, it would be saving pennies, not dollars. And you're not going to begin to get all of them," said Isabel Sawhill, a Brookings Institution economist who waged her own battles with Congress as a senior official in the Clinton White House budget office. "This is a good government exercise without much prospect of putting a significant dent in spending."

Is the Obama administration serious?  They claim this is just the beginning of the "process", so let me help them with some modest suggestions.  First they could make across the board cuts of all programs by 10% yielding savings of $340 billion.  Then, because some budget items (eg. interest on the public debt) may not be subject to the 10%, they could start eliminating departments, like education, agriculture, and others.  They could also start privatizing functions like the Post Office, NASA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.  That should generate some real savings and might even justify real tax cuts for the American people.

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January 2019


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