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AP slams Obama's budget "cuts"

According to analysis published today by the Associated Press, "Obama's latest budget-tightening effort hardly makes a dime's worth of differenc."

In a toughly-worded article, AP writers Andrew Taylor and Calvin Woodward take Obama to task for asking his Cabinet to find $100 million in budget savings -- much of it in already-proposed ideas -- and passing it off as fiscal responsibility.

"Cut a latte or two out of your annual budget and you've just done as much belt-tightening as President Barack Obama asked of his Cabinet on Monday.  The thrifty measures Obama ordered for federal agencies are the equivalent of asking a family that spends $60,000 in a year to save $6," Taylor and Woodward write in an article that can be found here.

In today's Monday Message, I outline $282.3 billion in easily-achieveable savings.  Specifically:

•    Avert the oncoming fiscal crisis in Social Security by indexing initial benefits to changes in prices, instead of wages.  Saves $47 billion annually by 2018.  Without reforms like this, the program will go bankrupt or force trillions of dollars in destructive new taxes or borrowing.
•    Turn Medicare into a block grant and freeze federal spending, forcing states to pursue cost-cutting reforms.  Saves $227 billion annually by 2018.
•    Eliminate the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, a $352 million corporate welfare program.
•    Eliminate the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, another $369 million in corporate welfare.
•    Eliminate the Energy Department’s nuclear energy research programs, $695 million in welfare that should be undertaken by nuclear energy investors.
•    Turn Head Start over to private charities, saving $687 million annually.  Since its inception Head Start has shown no substantive increase in inner-city literacy rates.
•    Eliminate the Bureau of Indian Affairs, saving nearly $2.5 billion a year.
•    Eliminate funding for the United Nations and other international programs, saving nearly $1.6 billion annually.
•    Eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, saving $350 million annually.
•    Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, $278 million a year in welfare for wealthy arts patrons.
•    Eliminate the Small Business Administration, $530 million in welfare for businesses.
•    Eliminate the $935 million a year in Postal Service subsidies and force them to further privatize operations.