- New Non-Reformed Welfare Program, costs $2.5 billion a year.
The program was recently created to incentivize states to increase their welfare caseloads without requiring able-bodied adults to work, get job training, or otherwise prepare to move off of taxpayer assistance. Reforming the welfare program was one of the great achievements of the mid 1990s, saving taxpayers billions of dollars and ending the cycle of dependency on welfare. This new program, created in 2009 is a backdoor way to undo those reforms.
- Eliminate Federal Employee Pay Raise, saving $2 billion next year and $30 billion over 10 years. Cut was voted down by Congress by 183 - 227. As part of his FY 2011 Budget submission President proposed raising federal civilian pay by 1.4% beginning in January of next year. This will be on top of the 2.0% raise federal civilian employees received this past January, the 3.9% raise they received the previous January, and the 3.5% raise they received the January before that. Freezing federal civilian pay at the current level for one year would save approximately $2 billion next year and $30 billion over ten years. Eric Cantor says non-uniformed federal employees are paid 20% more than private sector workers. Actually, they are paid a bigger differential than that according to recent studies and receive a benefits package worth about 4 times that of private sector employees.
- Reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Savings estimated at $30 billion. Cut was voted down by Congress 180 -230.
Since taking over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government sponsored mortgage-backing companies, taxpayers have injected over $145 billion into the two companies. Yet Congress still has not considered proposals to reform these companies and recoup taxpayer funds. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that absent reform, costs to taxpayer will continue to grow. Taking action to reform these companies now (as opposed to delaying action as some have proposed) by ending their government conservatorship, shrinking their portfolios, establishing minimum capital standards, and bringing transparency to taxpayer exposure could generate savings of up to an estimated $30 billion.
This week, my favorite choice is this:
Sell Excess Federal Property
The Office of Management and Budget estimated in 2007 that the federal government is holding $18 billion in real property that it does not need. Rather than selling this property, however, Federal law usually requires that it first be offered, often at no cost, to other government agencies, to state and local governments, to non-profits, and others. The federal government has conveyed at no cost: a building in Las Vegas that is intended to house the “mob museum,” land in Massachusetts for a private high school where tuition is over $29,000 a year, and a building in Florida that the federal government now leases back at a cost of over $100,000 a year. In addition, because of the red tape associated with selling property, federal agencies often hold onto the property (incurring more maintenance costs) because that is easier than selling it. This proposal would amend federal law to require an expedited process for selling unneeded federal property with 80% of the proceeds used to reduce the deficit. It would set an initial goal of disposing of $18 billion worth of property. [There is actually much, much more federal property which should be sold than estimated here. Many a western state is largely owned by the federal government, which greatly reduces the productive use of land.]
Please go to YouCut and vote yourself. The Democrats may prevent the cutting of any of the programs, but they have to go on record as voting to maintain a wasteful program each time. That wasteful program has been designated as particularly deserving of being eliminated by large numbers of Americans in a way that we have never before had an opportunity to do. We are establishing on vote after vote that our Congressmen are not listening to us and we are exposing those who are not and who are fiscally irresponsible week after week. I hope more and more Americans will participate in this exercise so that the will of the American People is well-established with respect to the dire need to cut government spending. In the process, we will be able to retain more of our hard-earned income and prevent some government meddling with our lives.