5 proposed budget cuts by President Obama

February 11, 2010

In his fiscal 2011 budget released last week, President Obama targeted 126 programs to be completely shut down or have their budgets cut.

While this proposal will only save an estimated $23 billion next year, it’s a start, and we applaud the President for taking this first step.  (Actually it’s his second step: in last year’s budget, President Obama proposed 121 cuts or reductions.  Congress didn’t enact all of them, but what they did cut saved taxpayers $6.8 billion.)

A full list of the proposed cuts can be found here, but we pulled out five of our favorites below (in order of most to least dollars saved):

1. Cancel NASA’s Constellation Systems Program

This program is a classic government cost overrun. The program was supposed to send U.S. astronauts to Mars.  The first phase was to be completed by 2012, but last year it was revealed that goal couldn’t be met without, you guessed it, more money.  President Obama is scrapping this program for a savings of nearly $3.5 billion.

2. Terminate C-17 production

The Obama Administration says the military already has enough C-17s to fill its needs.  This would save taxpayers $2.5 billion.

Eliminate election reform grants

According to the Administration’s budget, the federal government has spent $3 billion since 2002 to help states upgrade their voting systems.  They say no more money is needed at this time.  Taxpayer savings; $75 million.

Cut subsidies to wool manufacturers

This program was created a decade ago to help worsted wool manufacturers adjust to trade law changes.  As President Obama rightly points out, they’ve had plenty of time to adjust, so why not cut the program?  Doing so would save taxpayers $25 million over 10 years.

5. Eliminate funding for the Christopher Columbus Foundation

This would only save $1 million, but, as the Administration points out, no White House has requested funding for the Foundation from Congress in more than a decade.  So why is Congress still funding it?

These changes won’t even make a dent in the federal deficit, but we’re pleased with the fact President Obama put something on the table.  Now, go back and look again because there’s no shortage of outdated, wasteful programs that can be cut.

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