Scoffing at Washington's troubled effort to cut just $1.2 trillion in federal debt over 10 years, the Tea Party's own debt commission today unveiled a shocking plan to slash nearly $10 trillion over the next decade, in part by eliminating several federal agencies, balancing the budget by 2015, and killing foreign aid to unfriendly nations. [See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]
"Go bold or go home," says the report from the Tea Party Debt Commission. "Are you listening, Washington?"
The FreedomWorks-led effort started months ago by asking Tea Party members for ideas on what to cut from the federal budget. They ended up going much further than Congress or the president wants.
Their plan would cut spending by $9.7 trillion, and shrink the federal government from 24 percent of GDP to 17.5 percent, in line with the post-war norm.
Key initiatives include:
- Repealing the president's health care reform plan.
- Eliminating four cabinet agencies: Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce and Education, and reducing or privatizing the EPA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and TSA.
- Ending farm subsidies, foreign aid to unfriendly nations, and student loans, or what the Tea Party report called "luxuries we can no longer afford."
- Suspending pension contributions and cost of living adjustments to lawmakers when the budget is running a deficit.
- Killing all congressional earmarks.
- Cut federal employee pay by 10 percent and slash employee travel to $4 billion, half of what was spent in 2000.
- Make the Bush tax cuts and the alternative minimum tax permanent.
"Imagine a plan that cuts, caps, and balances federal spending without raising taxes; that gives future generations control over their own retirement security; and that lifts the massive debt burden from our children's shoulders so they can know the American dream of ever-higher freedom and prosperity. And on top of all that, imagine that it's a serious, credible, plan generated by the grassroots. This is that plan," said the report.