Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December, 2016, Part 3, By The Numbers: How To Save $2.5 TRILLION Easily

On a periodic basis we do some posts that fall under the theme of “by the numbers.” Rather than trust what the American political tells us about reality, we like to examine the real numbers and the real reality in the world to understand what is actually going on. Relying on politicians, and their cohorts in the media, to tell us what is reality is always a sucker bet. They have their own agendas and goals, usually centering around their needs and self-enrichment. So we need to look at the reality of the numbers to determine what is really going on.

Previous analyses of “by the numbers” can be accessed by entering the phrase in the search box above. This is the third and final post this month where we look at the numbers to truly find out how good, not likely, or bad, most likely, the American political class is doing in managing our tax dollars, protecting our freedoms, and resolving major issues that affect all of us.

A friend of mine recently sent me an email that showed some of the Federal government programs that the Republicans in Congress would like to cut in order to get government spending under control, not blow up the Federal national debt any more, and maybe, just maybe, at some point reduce the oppressive tax burden on working Americans. I cannot go through all of these to verify if they are valid and current Federal government budget items.

But given that we have reported on hundreds, if not thousands, of real and stupid Federal expenditures over the years, I would bet that most, if not all, of these line item expenses are real and totally unnecessary. Read through them and decide which one of these do we really need and which really help a large number of Americans, keeping in mind that we are spending these billions and billions of dollars on these items while:

  1. American military veterans die before they get the necessary medical care and attention that they are promised.
  2. Tens of millions of Americans need Federal food assistance every day.
  3. Millions of Americans need job training help to compete in today’s economy.
  4. Millions of Americans are homeless throughout the year.
  5. Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from drug addictions before than can get drug treatment help.
  6. Our kids are still getting lousy public educations relative to the rest of the world.

Keep these real world needs in mind when you consider whether it is a good idea to give the sugar industry $14 million a year in subsidies or send $17 million every year to the International Fund for Ireland every year:

* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy -- $445 million annual savings.
* Save America 's Treasures Program -- $25 million annual savings.
* International Fund for Ireland -- $17 million annual savings.
* Legal Services Corporation -- $420 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Arts -- $167.5 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Humanities -- $167.5 million annual savings.
* Hope VI Program -- $250 million annual savings.
* Amtrak Subsidies -- $1.565 billion annual savings.
* Eliminate duplicating education programs -- H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon , eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
* U..S. Trade Development Agency -- $55 million annual savings.
* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy -- $20 million annual savings.
* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding -- $47 million annual savings.
* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy -- $430,000 annual savings.
* Community Development Fund -- $4.5 billion annual savings.
* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid -- $24 million annual savings.
* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half -- $7.5 billion annual savings
* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% -- $600 million annual savings.
* Essential Air Service -- $150 million annual savings.
* Technology Innovation Program -- $70 million annual savings.
*Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program -- $125 million annual savings..
* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization -- $530 million annual savings.
* Beach Replenishment -- $95 million annual savings.
* New Starts Transit -- $2 billion annual savings.
* Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts -- $9 million annual savings
* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants -- $2.5 billion annual savings.
* Title X Family Planning -- $318 million annual savings.
* Appalachian Regional Commission -- $76 million annual savings.
* Economic Development Administration -- $293 million annual savings.
* Programs under the National and Community Services Act -- $1.15 billion annual savings.
* Applied Research at Department of Energy -- $1.27 billion annual savings..
* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership -- $200 million annual savings..
* Energy Star Program -- $52 million annual savings.
* Economic Assistance to Egypt -- $250 million annually.
* U.S.Agency for International Development -- $1.39 billion annual savings..
* General Assistance to District of Columbia -- $210 million annual savings.
* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority -- $150 million annual savings.
* Presidential Campaign Fund -- $775 million savings over ten years..
* No funding for federal office space acquisition -- $864 million annual savings.
*  End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act -- More than $1 billion annually.
* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget -- $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
*Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees -- $1 billion total savings.
* Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees -- $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
* Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of -- $15 billion total savings.
*Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies -- $1 million annual savings.
*Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- $12.5 million annual savings.
* Eliminate Market Access Program -- $200 million annual savings.
* USDA Sugar Program -- $14 million annual savings.
* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -- $93 million annual savings.
* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program -- $56.2 million annual savings.
*Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs -- $900 million savings.
* Ready to Learn TV Program -- $27 million savings..
* HUD Ph.D. Program.

These programs would save the American taxpayer about $2.5 TRILLION over a ten year period with minimal impact to the average American’s life. But, this list does not even attack some of the more egregious wasteful spending instances:

  • Massive criminal fraud in the Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Obama Care programs wastes billions and billions of dollars every year.
  • The Pentagon morass of spending insanity, which Obama’s deficit reduction task force long ago claimed that $100 billion a year could be cut from the Pentagon’s annual budget without harming national security.
  • The idiotic spending that goes to National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.
  • The inept IRS that fails to collect upwards of $400 billion a year from tax dodgers and which sends billions of dollars out in refunds to tax frauds.
  • The spending of tens of billions of dollars every year on Cabinet level Federal government entities that should be eliminated altogether including the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and the Department of Commerce,with the few vital functions that these departments provide begin shipped off to other Federal agencies or delegated to the states to handle.

The numbers are clear, the Federal government is out of control from a spending perspective. And while the list of potential expense cuts from my friend is a great start in taming the Federal spending monster, it should only be a first step in reducing taxes and increasing freedom while getting the Federal government out of our lives as much as possible.

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