With the budget deficit and national debt soaring, there has been lots of talk in Washington and among the G-20 economic allies to cut spending and balance budgets. But so far there has been little action. President Obama's bid last year to have Cabinet agencies cut $100 million mostly drew yawns. [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]
This week Whispers asked Citizens Against Government Waste if they could find programs and billions of dollars to cut and CAGW's president and press office needed less than a day to come up with cuts totalling about $11 billion over five years. Their list includes killing sugar and milk subsides and two defense programs the Pentagon doesn't want but Congress does.
1. Kill the Defense Department alternate engine program for the Joint Strike fighter. The House of Representatives authorized $485 million for the engine in H.R. 5136, the FY 2011 Defense Authorization Act. Since 2004, Congress has earmarked more than $1.2 billion for the engine.
2. Eliminate funding for the Pentagon's C-17 transport. This would result in a one-year savings of $400 million and a five-year savings of $2 billion.
3. Reform the Agriculture Department's milk marketing orders program and deregulate milk pricing. This would result in a one-year savings of $1.15 billion and a five-year savings of $5.75 billion.
4. Eliminate the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration that helps U.S. regions in foreign trade. This would result in a one-year savings of $201 million and a five-year savings of $1.081 billion.
5. Replace the $1 bill with a coin. This would save taxpayers $522.2 million per year.
6. Eliminate the Agriculture Department's sugar subsidy. This would result in a one-year savings of $160 million and a five-year savings of $800 million.