U.S. PIRG & NTU identify $1 trillion in cuts

September 21, 2011

In honor of the super-committee’s task of finding $1.5 trillion in spending cuts — and as proof that different political groups can work together productively – the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US. PIRG) and National Taxpayers Union (NTU) have identified and agreed on $1 trillion in spending cuts over ten years.

The 18-page report details cuts that won support by both the U.S. PIRG and NTU – two groups with “widely divergent views on many tax and fiscal issues.”

The recommendations are divided into four groups: ending wasteful subsidies, improving program execution and government operations, reforms to entitlement programs and (with the largest cuts) addressing outdated or ineffective military programs.

Suggested spending cuts include:

$77 billion in savings by ending the Crop Insurance Program, which encourages overplanting;

$135 billion in savings by implementing the Congressional Defense Acquisition Reform Panel’s recommendations for improved contract development, performance incentives and reforms to the Pentagon’s financial management system;

$78 billion in savings by canceling the program for the unreliable F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and instead purchasing more advanced, cheaper aircraft like the F-16 and F/A-18;

$160 billion in savings by reforming federal IT management and implementing cloud computing – allowing the closing of up to 800 federal data centers;

$69.4 billion in savings by aligning Medicare payments to teaching hospitals that receive additional funding so that payments awarded do not exceed the actual cost of education.

Despite the varying political affiliations and philosophies of those who worked on this report, all agree the spending targeted is wasteful.

“There is actually a large amount of agreement between watchdog groups both right and left about where the waste is in the budget,” NTU Vice President of Government Affairs Andrew Moylan said. “We hope this report can aid the Super Committee in the difficult task of repairing the federal balance sheet by giving them suggestions with widespread support.”

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