A number of the House GOP’s leading conservative members on Thursday will announce legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending….
Jordan’s “Spending Reduction Act” would eliminate such things as the U.S. Agency for International Development and its $1.39 billion annual budget, the $445 million annual subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the $1.5 billion annual subsidy for Amtrak, $2.5 billion in high speed rail grants, the $150 million subsidy for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and it would cut in half to $7.5 billion the federal travel budget.
But the program eliminations and reductions would account for only $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion in cuts. The bulk of the cuts would come from returning non-defense discretionary spending – which is currently $670 billion out of a $3.8 trillion budget for the 2011 fiscal year – to the 2006 level of $496.7 billion, through 2021.
Going back to 2006 levels would reduce spending by $2.3 trillion over ten years. It is a significantly more drastic cut than the one proposed by House Republican leadership in the Pledge to America last fall, which proposed moving non-defense, non-mandatory spending for the current fiscal year back to 2008 levels, which was $522.3 billion. Jordan’s proposal includes the recommendation from the Pledge for the current fiscal year, which ends in September.
The proposal would cut the federal work force by 15 percent and freeze automatic pay raises for government employees for five years.
This will definitely be popular with the most Americans, especially the base. Defunding NPR, PBS, and Amtrak are easy targets, even though the left will give a very spirited defense. In the end, I think that their days of receiving money from the federal government are over.
If you break down the bill, it will come to about $250,000 in cuts a year, and that is only one-sixth of this year’s deficit. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great start, but it is still just a start. Only cuts to the entitlement programs will make a long-term impact on the deficit. Only when they take on entitlements will there be any chance for long-term solvency.
The bill will, also, not be very popular with Democrats because it will cut the legs out from under what is left of the Stimulus money and funding for ObamaCare:
And don’t expect cheers from the White House in any case. Jordan’s bill ends the stimulus program and sends its remaining $45 billion back towards deficit reduction, which means the end of $6 billion earmarked for states already in budgetary crises. Another $16 billion meant to bolster Medicaid will make that situation even worse, since it will transfer more costs to the states (or more accurately, keep the states from transferring costs to the federal government) and set back the ObamaCare rollout. Expect Democrats to ramp up attacks on spending cuts using the same anecdotal strategy they attempted with the ObamaCare repeal vote this week.
Still, this is an excellent start to the new Republican majority in the US House. Let’s hope that it continues.
Republicans in the Senate should follow suit, as well. Sen. Jim DeMint has expressed an interest in introducing a similar bill in the Senate soon.