Bipartisan Government Waste

Here is a good list of spending cuts that both Republicans and Democrats can support:

Agricultural Subsidies: Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, and for good reason. These subsidies are a handout to rich farmers, and they raise food prices for everyone. $20 billion.

Social Security for the Well-Off: Social Security is not means-tested; people with substantial retirement income get full benefits. This is insanity; recipients did not “save” the benefits they receive; these benefits come from taxes paid by current working generations. Cut Social Security expenditure, say, 20% by introducing a modest degree of means-testing. $100 billion.

Medicare for the Well-Off: Same deal as with Social Security. Raise premiums, deductibles, and co-pays in a means-tested manner to save 20% of current expenditure. $60 billion.

Higher Education for the Well-Off: State governments currently operate colleges and universities in a manner that makes no distributional sense. Children of millionaires pay the same highly subsidized tuition as children in poverty. State governments should emulate the private sector by setting a high tuition rate and then offering discounts on a means-tested basis. $50 billion.

Pork: Although many “bridges to nowhere” are small potatoes, the number of potatoes is large. A recent accounting by Taxpayers for Common Sense estimated 2005 earmarks at $24 billion; most of this is pure pork. Adding big ticket items like manned space flight, Amtrak subsidies, mass transit boondoggles like the Big Dig, senseless flood control projects undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers, and subsidized disaster insurance, not to mention state and local pork, would easily yield substantial savings. $70 billion.

“The grand total from this list is $300 billion annually, roughly the deficit projected for 2006”. The full article could be found here.

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