Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, May 06, 2013

How to Save $2 Trillion

According to Citizens Against Government Waste, $2 trillion worth of government waste could easily be eliminated over the next five years.

Citizens Against Government Waste has named 557 government programs and subsidies that should be cut or eliminated.  These cuts are named in the organization’s annual publication, “Prime Cuts 2013.”

The linked article names four cuts that nobody — well, hardly anybody — would miss:

Subsidies to the sugar industry.  I saw an article several weeks ago — I forget where — describing how Congress carefully made sure that sugar subsidies wouldn’t suffer any reductions from the sequester cuts.  Sugar subsidies are keeping the price of sugar at around twice the world price.  Pretty cool, huh?  We’re paying higher taxes in order to rip ourselves off whenever we buy junk food.

Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said:

“It's an old style Soviet command and control program.  By eliminating the sugar program, tax payers could save $1.2 billion in one year and $6 billion over five years.”

Next:  subsidies to the dairy industry.  Tom Schatz said:

“Also an old-fashioned program.  The price of milk is based on the distance from which it’s produced from Eau Claire, Wis.—very old-fashioned way to produce milk. Savings there: $1.1 billion in one year, and $5.7 billion over five years.”

Agricultural subsidies aren’t the only drain on taxpayers.  Citizens Against Government Waste has estimated that somewhere between 55,000 and 77,000 government-owned buildings are sitting vacant and unused.

Also on the chopping block:  the Essential Air Service program which subsidizes small barely-used airports.

Why aren’t our congressional deficit hawks complaining about these wasted billions?  (It was a rhetorical question.)

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Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

Ha! Big Ag is a sacred cow--though shalt not cut!!! :)

May 7, 2013 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Universal healthcare would be a good place to start actually saving, by having the fuckin program available. Big Ag, oil and Pharma will not be eliminated because the powers that be don't want them eliminated. Those government buildings, get them retofitted as apartments and the homeless would not have to worry about a roof over their heads. Oh I have a whole list of things when I become Empress of the universe that will be fixed on day one, probably within the first three hours, I have thought about it so long.

May 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Life: Big Ag has Congress by the balls.

Jess: You're right, Big Ag and the oil and pharmaceutical industries have a tight scrotal grip on Congress. Yup, we could do amazing things with those 77,000 vacant unused government buildings.

May 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Yes, why aren't they complaining? Heh! That kind of stuff doesn't fire up their base. Big Bird and Planned Parenthood are more easily recognizable targets. The GOP would be likely to claim a great victory in their "war on the deficit" if funding was cut for PBS and Planned Parenthood rather than to things like sugar and milk. Never mind that the agricultural subsidies cost taxpayers lots more than the 'drop in the bucket' stuff they ideologically oppose...

May 7, 2013 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: You're right, Big Bird and Planned Parenthood are the buttonpushers for the GOP base. After all, they've swallowed the lie that Planned Parenthood performs trillions of abortions every day.

May 8, 2013 at 6:15 PM  

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