The left has been asking what would the right cut when they had to make decisions. That question is now answered:
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)'s Republican Study Committee is introducing the Spending Reduction Act of 2011, to cut back "non-security discretionary spending" to 2008 levels and to slice that spending back to 2006 levels from 2012 onward. That, they point out, would keep it "the same level as in effect during the last year of GOP control of the Congress."
The proposal does what Republicans have been talking about for two years -- "repeal" of remaining stimulus funds (now $45 billion), privatizing Fannie and Freddie ($30 billion), repealing Medicaid' FMAP increase ($16.1 billion), and what they estimate at $330 billion in discretionary spending cuts. Highlights of these projected annual savings:
- Cutting the federal workforce by 15 percent through attrition, and do this by allowing only one new federal worker for every two who quit.
- Killing the "fund for Obamacare administrative costs" for $900 million
- Ending Amtrak subsidies for $1.565 billion
- Ending intercity and high speed rail grants for $2.5 billion
- Repealing Davis-Bacon for $1 billion
- Cutting annual general assistance to the District of Columbia by $210 million, and cutting the subsidy for DC's transit authority by $150 million.
Reforms that go after their own perks:
- Cutting the Federal Travel Budget in half, for $7.5 billion
- Cutting the Federal Vehicle Budget by 1/5, for $600 million
- Halve funding for congressional printing - $47 million annual savings
- Ending the death gratuity for members of Congress
And cuts that get revenge for Juan Williams: $445 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $167.5 million from the NEA, and $167.5 million from the NEH. . . .
The bill would save $2.5 trillion over ten years. The beauty of this bill is that, by universally cutting all discretionary spending, it avoids the interminable trench warfare that would result from individual cuts. Moreover, its simplicity makes it an easy sell to the country. Let the left start objecting while our national debt climbs ever higher. The right could always use some good fodder for 2012 attack ads.